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Joslyn Doerge

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Joslyn Doerge was born and raised in the city of Chicago, where early on she developed a fascination with the magic of the creative arts. In high school she won several awards for her art including The Congressional Art Award and has had work hung in the halls of Congress. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she developed her skills in both mixed media and stained glass as well as a focus on scientific illustration. She was granted an independent study by the Field Museum of Chicago and continues to be influenced by her time spent there. While attending SAIC, she was accepted to study at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in their advanced painting program. When she graduated her BFA show was one of five shows (out of 300 BFA shows) selected to receive honorable mention and be photographed in the Top Picks section of The Art Institute of Chicagos paper.
Since graduating she has traveled extensively, exploring the art and culture of peoples around the world and integrating those experiences into her work. Joslyn has displayed her work in solo art shows in both Chicago and Telluride. In May of 2010 she had a solo exhibit in The Telluride Mountain Film Festival, and a solo show at Mission Comics in October 2010 and is currently living in San Francisco Bay area.

My Artist Statement

My current series of portraits represents a synthesis of science and pop art. During my studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and through my work at the Field Museum, I developed a passion for scientific illustration, which has become an integral facet of my artistic vision. As a female artist, I have spent a number of years examining the ways in which women are portrayed in popular culture, particularly the ways in which attractiveness and sexuality are valued, used and exploited by the observer. To that end, I seized upon the iconographic potency of the pop culture “pin-up girl,” a genre which has become a universally recognizable symbol of female sexuality in Western culture. By applying my abilities as a scientific illustrator to these distilled images of women-as-objects, I have found a new way of exploring the themes of beauty, sex, and objectification.

Often when we look at an attractive person, we see only their surface qualities and neglect to question what underlies their skin-deep beauty. Indeed, rarely do we ask ourselves exactly what the fundamental elements are that make another so pleasing to behold. At first glance, a pin-up model is simply erotic, and is only meant to tantalize and entertain our fantasies. This reduces the model to a mere object of desire. But when we ask ourselves, with a more scientific eye toward causes and effects, what makes them so beautiful, we begin to investigate how the structure of their body is formed and what it is that makes that structure pleasing to us. We are literally peeling back the façade of beauty and peering underneath. This is when we realize that there’s more than meets the eye, as beauty and anatomy are collapsed into a single, complex moment. The removal of the flesh reminds us that we are all, under the surface, composed of complicated networks of bone, flesh, and blood, not to mention thoughts, hopes, beliefs, dreams. These are all fundamental parts of what make us human. In this sense, then, muscular and vascular anatomy have become the means through which I explore the meanings and intentions behind representations of females as sexual objects.

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