Cathy Lees

Region: South

My paintings narrate my life through symbols with personal and cultural significance, as I focus on issues of identity, sexuality, and control. By naturalistically rendering simulated scenes, I layer artifice and veracity, thereby dramatizing the uncanny nature of the reality of domestic experiences. Food is a recurring motif in my paintings. I metaphorically link nutritional and sexual hunger. My body may be analogous to food in this context. Simultaneously, I examine my ambivalent attitude towards my own appetites. Because I am a woman, both eating and sex entail crossing my body's physical boundaries. Semiotically, these acts involve contamination but also pleasure. I stage my paintings as if making a film, and I appeal to viewers' voyeuristic tendencies, creating a sensation similar to that experienced by audiences watching private affairs unfold on a movie screen.