obelisk, ziggurat, pyramid  2018 15 x 15 in., mirror, resin, acrylic gel, porcelain

Ruth Owens

Artist Statement

Each of my paintings reflects a personal narrative, usually concerning memories about family. Further, by virtue of being the daughter of a Teutonic and African American marriage, my work has topical cultural implications. The reference images for my paintings are mined from my family’s super-eight footage from the 1960’s and 1970’s. I use an expressive painting approach to convey emotions associated with stories from my childhood, and explore cultural perceptions of our mixed race family at the same time. The identity we form within the confines of our intimate familial circle is often disrupted or “stolen” by outside cultural systems that are rigid and unaccepting. The pathos evident in the work may provide an empathetic point of entry for viewers of a wide variety of backgrounds.