Natalie Strait

Region: MFA Annual


 Through a semi-autobiographic and queer lens, Natalie Strait’s paintings explore personal and psychological lived realities of womanhood, navigating the interplay between emotional vulnerability and gendered, social media-enforced performativity. Strait’s imposing, majestic female figures make their presence known: Their sculpturally molded bodies command the full space of the canvas and their unflinching gazes directly confront the viewer. Her sources are drawn from vernacular images of women, spanning from vintage pornography discovered on Reddit, to 1970s Playboy spreads, and the unrelenting scroll of candid pictures of friends, selfies, and algorithmically presented images that populate her social media. Using these subjects’ poses and bodies as an anchor, Strait then introduces details, moments, and sceneries both real and imagined to create new worlds of her own, striking a precarious balance between the banal and the fantastical.