Haley Bowen

I once believed I gave away my dignity. That I was dirty, unworthy, and convicted -- that I would never be able to commit to a man or that being stuck in a fantasy, I’d never know normalcy. Rebirth [Divine Femme] is a body of work I am proposing to showcase during the October 2019 Start Up Art Fair at Hotel ICON.

Using the nude figure, expressive marks, and bright colors, I aim to create art all homo sapiens feel a connectedness to, most importantly, women. I model for most of my work and believe I have conquered the feeling of worthlessness through the sanctification of my physical body in its transcription on a two-dimensional surface.

The “Rebirth” gold series of self-portraits, asked me to very literally strip down in front of myself as a viewer and others and say something real -- ideas that might seem familiar. At the time this series was being created, I was months away from getting married and was hesitant to get vulnerable about my traumatizing past with men. For the first time, I created art that moved me, that made me uncomfortable – I used text on the work and titles to speak up. I re-created a new idea of self, mark by mark.

The Rebirth “Kilim” series is an exploration of internal awareness, the Divinity beneath our skin. A year ago, at an intense anatomical training, I learned the specialization and uniqueness of each human body. Artistically inspired, I created 4 [of 7] kilims. I thought about that quiet, beautiful, young woman, who was scared and filled with love and wonder – and brought her out from the dark depths of trauma. I painted her bones and skin, aiming to exhibit her uniqueness. I, a Divine being, a creation of God and complete order amidst the chaos of the Universe, was silent. I never spoke up about my fears or issues with the men I used to date in fear of losing them. Like kilims, she is meant to be viewed, yet has been walked on and believed her worth was for the grime wiped off of the shoes of passersby. By arranging her on a vertical surface, she became revered.

I invite the viewer to experience a nude body not as a naked show, but as a sentient being with something to say via the movement and craft of every mark made. Through our whole life experience, beyond the marks and scars of our past, if we can love and revere our divine selves within our physical bodies, that is the ultimate Rebirth [Divine Femme].

For more information about the artist, please visit her website.