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Emily Wittke

Nominated by Northern Illinois University

The images that I have been creating is a body of work that focuses mainly on figurative elements. My current pieces explore abstraction: of figure, of color, of line work, and of the human form through the depiction of bruises and cuts. The intentional use of bruises or other flaws, that bring to light our own mortality, are consistently memorable and often brutal. This series specifically focuses on the artistic elements of these brands of flaws, and the beauty and patterns that ripen with them yet are too often overlooked. The patterns utilized in the background are meant not only to create a pleasing aesthetic image for the viewer, but to echo the patterning that comes to bruises over time as they begin to heal and change. Focusing only on certain parts of the body, instead of the whole form, allows me to pay closer attention to the detail of the part being explored. This concentration lets me effectively use my pallet to render the flesh in a way that goes with the theme of frightening, unusual beauty. Not having the whole form visible, or even the eyes in facial forms, brings a universal quality when the viewer is not able to identify the individual.

Image: Hold My Hand, 2016

Resident year: 
2017
Cohort Group: 
Artist Resident