At first an everyday scene: A woman reaching for a diet coke amid burgers and fries. When enlarged and reconstructed as paint on canvas, the viewer may wonder why this particular scene was chosen and, if it really shouldn’t be looked at more closely. Isn’t it strange, then, this regular behavior of ours of drinking a 1 calorie beverage with a fat-laden, high-caloric meal? This painting is typical of Charice Silverman’s work, which uses “ordinary” scenes to ask larger societal questions. With its bright colors and painterly technique, these often humorous paintings further engage the viewer.
A recent MFA recipient of School of Visual Arts’ Illustration as Visual Essay department in Manhattan, she has exhibited in Manhattan, San Francisco, and now in New Jersey. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
What’s Beauty Got to Do With It?
This painting project began as a focus on the everyday rituals of female beautification, fromapplying lipstick to getting such long nails that they may hinder one’s daily activities. Now,botox injections, though derived from a toxin, botulinum type A, are starting to become a “beautification ritual” some circles. Botox injections are becoming so commonplace, women (andmen) have had “botox parties” so as to combine financial resources and entertaining. Whatinterests me is what lies beneath these actions. How much, for example, does getting a botoxinjection have to do with curing a furrowed brow? What deeper psychological or sociological needis this action filling? When confronted with portraits of these “everyday” occurrences on agallery wall, I hope the viewer will ask the question “What’s beauty got to do with it?” and ultimately relate the questions to her-or even himself.
“Charice Silverman’s lushly painted works cast a critical eye on our current consumer culture. Her paintings depicting ‘botox parties’ and beauty products point out the absurdity of our fantasies and bring home how vulnerable we are to manipulation through images.”