Much of my personal artwork deals with strong, oftentimes taboo emotions or situations. I want to represent the inner conflict that can come about as a result of relationships with other people, but also the relationship we have with the deepest part of ourselves. In my piece titled Despite it All, I chose to reflect on a particularly dark period in my life, where I was very negatively affected by an emotionally abusive romantic relationship. In this particular piece, I used acrylic paint and drew from techniques used by the Fauvists and their expressive use of color, and methods of portraying the self used by Frida Kahlo. I wanted to marry this almost psychedelic color scheme with an honest and true presentation of myself and how deeply I was hurting due to this relationship. For me, the intense color was not something new, as I have worked with alternative color in portraits for about four years now, and I’ve come to love using unusual color in my portraiture. This self-portrait is one that I am incredibly proud of, not only for its execution and striking visuals, but for the emotional sludge that I had to wade through in order to paint this piece honestly. I hope viewers can feel both the pain and triumph in this painting.
Aisling Keenan is a second year Art Education major at University of Northern Colorado. She comes from a family of artists and teachers. Her paternal grandmother is a collage artist, former professor, and published poet, and her work inspires Aisling frequently. She works mostly with acrylic paint, collage, oil pastels, and drawing, and she often works in portraiture. Her works have been exhibited in numerous high school shows, and since attending University of Northern Colorado, she has shown work in the Working Artist Exhibition in Spring of 2019 and the Blue Tapeover in Fall of 2019.
24 x 30 x 1”
Acrylic Pain on Canvas