Lee Price: women and food
American contemporary figurative realist painter, Lee Price focuses on the subject of food with the solitary female figure in private, intimate settings. Her figures are always lost in what might appear to be the bliss of consumption in highly unusual environments and portrayed from a unique aerial point of view.
This odd perspective creates an illusion or feeling of an out of body experience as if the subject is looking down at herself. While clearly demonstrating her amazing technical skills, the circumstance of consistently depicting female figures in the act of compulsive behavior tends to hint at an underlying message.
“There are two threads that my paintings follow: one being a discussion on women’s relationship with food, the other being a discussion on compulsive behavior. At times the two threads intertwine. The overhead perspective emphasizes the fact that the women are watching their own actions; watching themselves in the middle of their out of control behavior but unable to stop.”
The settings of her works are private spaces, spaces of solitude, and mainly, unusual places to find someone eating. The private space emphasizes the secrecy of compulsive behavior, and the unusual settings emphasize its absurdity. The solitude/peace of the setting is a good juxtaposition to the frenetic, out of control feel of the woman’s actions.
One of the most potent messages these pieces deliver is that of excessive waste. Not just material waste but the waste of time and energy that is used up in obsession. For the women in these paintings, even with an excess of food, there is no nourishment.
“Most women brought up to be givers. To nurture others at the expense of our own needs. We hide our appetites, not just for food but in many areas of our lives, and then consume in secret.”
Images courtesy of Lee Price