“The Catalogue of Imaginary Beings” is an ongoing series of work I began in 2015 that sprung from over 20 years of portraiture and collage work. Now at well over 100 plates, the body of work seeks to explore a range of themes in popular culture including the role of the individual in fashion, in history, in the artistic imagination and, more broadly, the collective consciousness.
It draws its inspiration from a wide spectrum of sources—including magical realism, surrealism and symbolism—and more specifically references such cultural artifacts as talismans, idols, totems and all of the material detritus that surrounds all of us all the time. These characters are composites embodying notions of “the warrior,” vulnerability, industry, the universal and the personal. They reference these identities as they’ve been depicted historically through art, literature and commerce.
The sideshow candidacy and then the unbelievable election and, now, the devastating inauguration of Donald Trump has been very difficult for many women in this country to understand or accept. I am one of those women.
It’s hard to know what one can do in times like these. As an artist, I feel my most effective voice is through my art—so I’ve made these images of monumental, formidable women in commemoration of the women’s marches in Washington, D.C. and around the world. I wanted to depict strong women standing up for their rights and to spread the word about the marches, of which there are over 600. (The Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms., will be leading delegations at three!)