Jamie L. Luoto
My current body of work, I Believe in Ghosts, is a series of self-portraits that illuminates the aftermath of sexual assault: the lasting psychological impact of interpersonal trauma on an individual. I explore my psyche and experience with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, blurring the line between external presentation and internal reality to bring to light the unseen injuries of sexual trauma that invade and haunt mind and body. I draw on psychological horror, witchcraft, mythology, and folklore, as well as art-historical influences, such as seventeenth-century Dutch masters and twentieth-century surrealists. I’m interested in the long history of exploitation and appropriation of the female body and making self-representations that reflect the complexities of how we, as women, view ourselves, how we’re shown ourselves, and how we’re seen by others. I relate the tradition of being silenced in the face of dismissal, disbelief, and shaming to the historical exclusion of women’s work and themes in Western art.