Over the past few months I’ve been working this painting out from its conception to completion on my Instagram stories. It was a vulnerable thing to do because I didn’t have a predetermined concept and I was a little worried this would bomb, right there on Instagram. Fortunately, I pulled it off. :)
While I had no idea what to do when I began this painting, I knew I wanted this pose from a photo I had taken years ago, back when my focus was erotic photography. The pose struck me as “the right thing” but I didn’t know why and hence, that lovely process of mystery and discovery. And of course, looking back, the pose was vital to the concept that developed. You can follow the process in clips on my Highlights story on Instagram, link here @tatianavontauber.
THE PAINTING’S NARRATIVE & MEANING
Originally the orbs/balls were to be clocks as this painting was to be about time and how we were chained to it. However, at some point that wasn’t going smoothly and I painted them yellow and that was too bright. Frustrated, I toned them down and made them more three dimensional to see if I even wanted to go in this spherical direction when my daughter comes into the room and comments on how they looked like bread loaves. When I stood back, I saw what she meant and the title came to me right there, that ah-ha moment all us creatives thrive on. That’s when I knew this painting had a direction that was solid AND probably wasn’t going to bomb. Phew. (*ironic, I think, that it was the child who made the painting click)
In my opinion, this is a very feminist piece and separately, a powerful piece and it can be interpreted various ways, which is why I like it. I dug deep for it, and quite frankly, I was surprised at what surfaced and it’s created a lot of conversation in my head, that’s for sure.
Below is my interpretation of the painting. It is the dark side of the feminist female reality, the one created in the background as a result of the various pleasures and treasures (and children*, love and devotion) women offer others, sometimes by choice and other times by force.
The orbs being bread loaves symbolize this female is “makin’ dough” either for her family or for money. Note the pacifier at her feet, a symbol of all that motherhood requires. Picking up the pacifier demands skill, as to not drop the delicate balance of bread-winning overhead. She is chained to her duties, dressed like the sexual woman that got her there, on a square platform — clearly man-made — out in space, alone.