Paper Dolls & Action Figures: Geisha Girl, Brownie Sweet, Holy Momma (2014)

mixed media on canvas (acrylic, paper, charcoal, felt, soft pastels)

Artist Statement

 

When I was a little girl, I loved playing with paper dolls. I liked that I could change their clothes and accessories almost instantaneously. They were easy to collect and if one tore, I could simply just tape it together or toss it and get another one. I told them what emotions they had at any given moment and they stood exactly where I wanted them to and did exactly what I wanted them to, adapting to any situation. Their facial expressions were usually emotionless and sometimes they didn’t have a face at all.

 

They didn’t break… they didn’t cry… they didn’t laugh… they didn’t care… they didn’t think… they didn’t feel.

 

After going through my share of heartaches and pains- from failed relationships to deferred dreams and everything else in between, I‘m finally realizing that it is okay for me to cry, to laugh, to care, to think, and to feel.

 

I’m finally realizing that I am not a paper doll.

 

This series seeks to illustrate the fragility of our humanity and how easily impacted we are by the world around us. Naturally, we are shaped by societal blinders and boundaries causing us to act as desensitized paper dolls and action figures that are conditioned to ignore our basic needs, desires, sensitivities, and vulnerabilities.

 

From Geisha Girl to Brownie Sweet to Holy Momma… We share in their struggles inasmuch as we embrace or ignore our own. Only when we begin to realize that every person has a story deep inside of them which fosters their capacity to live, breathe, and love, will we begin to see humanity grow and ignite the power to change the world.

 © 2019 by Tye Johnson

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