Leslie Barlow

Region: Midwest

  I am interested in examining and reimagining our relationship to our racial identities through healing our collective understanding of belonging and what it means to be family. My life-size oil paintings use the figure and portraiture to explore issues of multiculturalism, identity, representation, and race. I investigate these through use of the personal, often sharing the images and stories of family, friends, and community members to reflect the subtle and not-so-subtle integrations of these ideas into individual lives and identities. I put emphasis on representing the person and the body to reflect the embodied experiences of trauma, love, and connection. I believe that stories connect the past, present, and future, and the juxtaposition of different storytelling mediums in my work (photography, quilting, painting . . . ) becomes a merging of narratives, experiences, culture, and identities.