Delicious colours, seductive textures, and alluring light: the women in my paintings hold your gaze, powerful as modern goddesses. In my work, I find myself reexamining the idea of Venus—Who is she today and how has she developed? Venus still embodies the concept of feminine sexual beauty, but this beauty is a wealth that the women in my paintings can spend as they so choose. Their power is their own. Their power may be uncomfortable. I aim to present this power in unexpected ways, such as an emanation of heat in a shadow. By embellishing a metaphoric language of skin with moments of hyper-real truth in an imagined environment, I hope my models continue the reign of Venus as an icon and reimagine her as a woman who can harness the power of her adulation. I want to show that these women relish their own beauty. Now it is their own and not a gift from a man’s gaze. Their world will be a better one.