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A portrayal of the deterioration and fabrication of a natural human existence to symbolize one's conscious decision to allow meaningless objects define our nature and value in society. This is when we we lose the ability to differentiate our formal roles (a social, historical, preoccupation) in society from our true nature.
Where does self-expression lie in graphic design?
All the imagery used to create these series were all photographed. I have a fascination and love for antiques, especially objects with intricate and ornate details. I took a surrealistic approach and wanted to portray my photo manipulation skills. My personal work overall always reflects something from the past. I aim to recall and reflect on past experiences through my work.
An installation and series of work that signifies Genevieve's relationship between her birth mother, foster mothers, and the Mother who adopted and raised her. After the unexpected death of her Mother in 2011, Genevieve was left with an irremediable grief, a bitter perception of reality and distorted memories from her past that needed to be revived. She designed a time-based piece that functions as her attempt to confront the traumatic experiences she's endured and to portray her desire to mend an irreversible past.
Inside each miniature frame contains a picture of both Genevieve's foster mothers and Mom. In the original photographs, Genevieve's foster mothers hold her while sitting against a Snow White themed background. During the adoption process, Genevieve's parents were given these photographs to show them what she looked like before they met in person. The hidden remnants from Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs illustrate Genevieve's only memories of her brief upbringing in South Korea.
Genevieve grew up not knowing anything about her birth parents. She constantly wonders whether she has her Mother's smile or her Father's eyes. Having no answers or explanations has made it difficult for her to truly move on. The mask broken in half symbolizes two separate identities where there will always be a part of her that will feel incomplete without knowing the truth about her birth parents.
This project was inspired by one of my favorite novels, "The Outsiders" by S. E. Hinton. In the novel, Robert Frost's poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" becomes the focal point as each character is faced with the harsh realities of life. The poem is also applicable to real life as all good things ultimately come to an end. The idea of remaining pure and innocent forever is humanly impossible as we all will eventually be exposed to and confronted with the world's cruelties.
The manipulated weapons symbolize the loss of youthfulness, corruption and weakness. The toy soldiers are painted gold in order to reflect the "golden years" of our childhood that is eventually lost over time. As we continue to grow, we experience and quickly learn how unpredictable, unforgiving and unsafe the world can be, no matter what we believe.
I've been to over 20 countries visiting places like the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and many more. I am fascinated by different cultures, languages, history, architecture and art. Exploring new places helps me find inspiration.
For this piece, I was intrigued by the famous character Don Quixote from Man of La Mancha. He is defined as a "mad" man because he chose to live his life through a dream and deny his true existence in reality. Eventually, he begins to see the world for what it truly is - nonetheless, he insists to live in a romanticized world where his desires can exist.
"I come in a world of iron... to make a world of gold." - Dale Wasserman
In loving memory of my Mother
This series is dedicated to my Mother who unexpectedly passed away in 2011. The women that I chose to depict: Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Grace Kelly, all share a connection to my Mother’s life (my Mother is shown in the first portrait). Like my Mother, these icons struggled to find happiness and stability, and all died too young. Each portrait is rendered in black and white to illustrate a departed nature within each of these women. I wanted to convey a person’s removal from reality. Each facial expression is meant to show a sense of dissatisfaction either within themselves or with the world in which they exist in. The eye color reflects their inability to consciously exist in reality since they’ve enabled themselves to only see what they desire to see, which is a world of color with no imperfections. The colorful orbs represent these idealistic worlds they've immersed themselves in. The orbs also act as barriers that protect these women from harsh realities where nothing can harm them.
Through these drawings, I wanted to explore how we deal with loss and why we hide our emotions. From my experience, people are afraid to be vulnerable. For some, confrontation is overwhelming and terrifying to deal with. I think many of us are afraid to admit when we're not okay, but we live in a society where no one wants to be open and personable anymore. This "no one cares" attitude prevents us from seeking the help that we truly need in order to better ourselves and improve our lives.
My Mom was always a happy person on the outside, but I never really knew just how much she was hurting on the inside. When I was a senior in high school, My Mom was diagnosed with Cirrhosis, which is an incurable disease. Having to watch the one person I loved most suffer and deteriorate both mentally and physically was unbearable and heartbreaking. My family and I were told that she would not make it, but she miraculously survived for a few more years.
My Mom was someone who believed she was never good enough or good at anything. She lived her life to serve others, but did nothing for herself. My Mom could not see just how much she mattered to not just me, but to many people. She left this world feeling unimportant and unfulfilled, and that will always hurt me for the rest of my life. Today, I still struggle learning how to live without my Mom. A daughter should always have her mother.
The faculty of the Visual Studies Department at the University at Buffalo selected Genevieve as the recipient for the Rumsey Scholarship Award for 2011. The award was based on her proposal as well as the quality and execution of the artwork she had exhibited in the Rumsey Competition. Genevieve used the award to travel to the Netherlands where she worked as a graphic design intern at Smidswater. As part of the scholarship, Genevieve had another exhibition where she displayed work that represented her experience in Holland. This can be seen in her series called "If I Could See."