Art form(s): Painting, Drawing
CAPE Teaching Artist since 2023
MFA School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA Pennsylvania State University
Lindsey Kircher is an artist and art educator who is excited to be teaching with CAPE this year! Lindsey is from the Washington D.C. area. She earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago this May 2023, and she earned her BFA from Penn State University in 2019. Lindsey makes paintings and drawings about her experiences of womanhood in America. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, with exhibitions in New York, Chicago, London, and Italy. Her work has been featured in publications such as New American Paintings, Metal Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine, and White Hot Magazine. When she is not making her own art, Lindsey loves teaching art to children and young adults. She is passionate about making art exciting, accessible, and relevant to students of all ages and abilities. Lindsey is currently the Visual Arts Teacher at Augustus Tolton Catholic Academy in south Chicago, and has also worked as a Ryan Learning Center Intern at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Education and Community Engagement Intern at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC. She is looking forward to a great experience working with Chicago elementary students through her CAPE collaborative program!
I begin my painting process by sourcing images of professional cheerleaders, Sports Illustrated models, and other images of iconic, ‘conventionally beautiful’ young women from American culture. My interest in these images comes from a place of conflict. When I source these materials in my research, I feel a longing to look like these women. I want to possess a beauty that is permanent, unchanging, airbrushed, and flawless. I want to be wanted. But I do not want to be an object of desire, because I do not want to be an object. I resist being valued only for my body, youth, or appearance.
Painting from these images allows me to confront my complex relationship to these women and my attraction to them. Through hash-marking, scribbling, blurring, and smearing with paint, I unravel and transform the source images, making them difficult to pin down and consume whole. Working with wet into wet oil paint, I create a ground layer of mud, where I can mush, squish, push, shove, pull, and tug at the source images with urgency and energy. I often render the inscrutable faces in great detail, while the rest of the body is pushed in and out of focus. They seduce the viewer with a cool, distant gaze, projecting a knowing confidence through a jungle of disorienting abstraction.
By deconstructing and distorting images of women who are widely accepted as beautiful in American society, I grapple with my own experiences navigating the freedoms and limitations of beauty. Making these paintings enables me to negotiate the power in expressing my own femininity and sexuality, and the vulnerability of being flattened into an object, consumed for pleasure and entertainment. As I paint, these women become me, and I become them. I use painting to wrestle with them and with myself, fighting to liberate my body from objectification, while also insisting that I am entitled to celebrate my body and feel desired.