Here it is! Wow, that was a lot easier to find than I thought it would be… Again, this artist’s statement, though much of it rings true with my art in general, was written for this particular exhibition show I held back in 2008 during my graduating semester from college.
Maggie Patricia Horne
“Immaculate Misconceptions” Artist Statement
“A painter’s tastes must grow out of what so obsesses him in life that he never has to ask what is suitable for him to do in art.” — Lucian Freud
My art is indeed, about obsession. It is a visual fusion of several prominent obsessions throughout my life: the significance of religion, society’s preoccupation with physical beauty, the desire for individuality, and the lifelong collection of found objects.
Born and raised in the Deep South, the region of America known as the Bible Belt, religion and the practice thereof has been in the foreground of my life experiences. As a human being, I have struggled over the years with my faith, abandoning and embracing my spirituality regularly. I struggle with the emphasis placed on religion and the diverse forms of worship and adulation of Jesus Christ.
Within my art, I combine this struggle with that of society’s emphasis on physical beauty and the unattainable standards set by the media to be attractive and thin. As a woman, I am constantly bombarded with images of how I should look in order to fit within our society’s “norm”. My desire to be an individual and not follow that “norm” is at a constant battle with my desire to be beautiful. I see this struggle within religious images as well. There is a definite standard of how the characters within Christianity are to be portrayed. They should be beautiful, attractive, and pleasing to the eye in order to convey the calmness and peace found within Christianity.
My question is therefore, can religious images successfully exist outside the “norm”: unattractive, aggressive and provocative, and still be seen as genuine and deserving of veneration? My answer is a resounding “yes.” I strongly believe that it gives these images more humanity, thus enabling the average person to more easily relate to the icon.
I use a wide variety of materials within my mixed media paintings consisting largely of what most people would consider to be trash, junk, and everyday non-art objects; things that I literally find on the streets or in the garbage, abandoned by others. Alone, they are not what would be considered beautiful or worthy of adoration. But the obsessive manners in which I combine all of these individual objects into one, transform them into something more precious, something that I consider worthy of representing images of such reverence.
For me, this is a liberating experience, an opportunity to express my individuality through art. My paintings, just like my physical identity, are beautiful and worthy of esteem outside the restrictions of today’s society and mass culture