2020 BFA THESIS SHOW
BOSTON UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS


























 



OLIVIA JAMES

@oliviajames_art


For this series of paintings, I focused on female vulnerability through the gaze: the gaze of the figure looking at herself in the mirror—the female gaze on her own body, and the gaze of the viewer, looking at the figure. I wanted the paintings to have a sense of immediacy, so I put the frame on the edge of the canvas and made the figures almost life-size. In addition, I tried to make the figures as realistic as possible, thinly layering the paint to produce life-like forms.  In these paintings, there is as much emphasis on what the viewer does not see as on what they do. The space around the figures is completely white, taking away the context of the room that they are in. In that way, I wanted the viewer to question what they are looking at, while placing all of their attention on the figure in front of them. The figures are not imbued with any explicit meaning, rather they allow the viewer to project meaning because of their accessibility. They stand facing the viewer in a position of open vulnerability, inviting them in, or rather, unable to keep them out.

Body Brush $159, 2019, oil on canvas, 12 x 12’’

Untitled Figure 1, 2020 oil on canvas, 30 x 40’’

Untitled Figure 2, 2020, oil on canvas 30 x 40’’

Skulpting Knife, 2019, oil on canvas 40 x 30’’

Skin Egg, 2019, oil on canvas, 30 x 40’’

Japanese Face Mask, 2019, oil on panel, 9 x 12’’