I've Got a Real Bad Sweet Tooth

By. Anna Leigh Pumpelly

I’ve Got a Real Bad Sweet Tooth

I am interested in the compulsive behaviors that humans have with their food. Most often we use food as sustenance, but also in a variety of coping mechanisms for broad intrinsic issues that we may suffer from; Overeating, overindulging, starvation, etc., these behaviors paired with feelings of anxiety concerning body size creates a sequence of reciprocal cause and effect. These paintings are intended to reflect this narrative, specifically overeating, its physical effects on the body, and the anxiety of those effects. 

Jenny Saville and Kiki Smith are two artists that have influenced my work. Saville’s paintings interpret the human figure with dynamic and loose brushwork mostly suggestive of light and shadow. Smith’s work preoccupies itself with narration as well as the visceral qualities of the human body. I think it is important and functional to construct a narrative within a painting or series of paintings; functional in the sense that it incorporates the viewer, creating a semi-interactive piece.

Paintings of abdomens express the flow of movement and act of looking at oneself in the mirror but, altogether, the paintings imply a narrative about overeating. Treatment of the flesh and food is done in an expressive manner, similar to that of Saville’s work. Smith’s quote during an Art21 interview illustrates my interest with human viscera and concentration on form and anatomy: “Art is something that moves from your insides into the physical world. And at the same time it’s just a representation of your insides in a different form.” For this series my literal and figurative insides provide the narrative.