Big Girls consists of three larger-than-life charcoal drawings. Each piece portrays a monumental female figure. The contrast of marks and black charcoal on a field of white paper add a dramatic distinction between the body and the space that surrounds each woman. The indeterminacy of place suggests both sanctuary and confinement. Each figure presses up against the edges of the picture plane contemplating their conformity.
I am both the artist and the model in these drawings, which adds to the diaristic approach in each piece. Each panel features a foregrounded female figure. Her physical mass touches every side of the rectangle. These drawings are not a rebuke of thick thighs or large breasts; nor are they about sexualizing the body. Rather, this work investigates how women dwell in space. The women, with their doll-like hands, stable their mass, as they touch the Earth. The triptych is about confrontation, contemplation, and confinement.
The drawings reference various sources that include direct observation and photographs of my body. Two major influences are Michelangelo's Sibyls and the Madonna of the Doni Tondo. Both the Madonna and the sibyls are large, muscular women who occupy the space they dwell with confidence and knowledge of their self-worth. Another influence was Henrik Ibsen's play, The Doll's House. The play centers around the transformation of one woman from a doll to a real woman. The women in Big Girls are in a state of transformation as well. They are in a place of waiting as they contemplate their worthiness and how they are allowed to dwell in their allocated spaces.
M. V. Moran recently earned her MFA in Visual Studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. Moran has a BFA in Painting from the University of Oregon.