Art & Art History ETDs

Publication Date



The primary concern in my work is woman as an idealized goddess whose perfect beauty engenders the attributes of timelessness, sterility, and death. My ideas, although first encountered in literature, found visual realization in the images of the Vogue woman and the Renaissance Madonna. Both of these goddess figures are paradoxical in that they are real persons idealized and placed in a queenly context, and they consequently form a tension between illusion and reality. The historic setting for the Renaissance Madonna has three direct parallels to my work: 1) shallow space which characterizes an illusory stage-like setting, 2) symmetry which arrests all time and notion, and 3) complementary architectural forms (altars) which focus on the woman. Despite the fact that I borrow Renaissance devices, my paintings are thematically related to Surrealist fantasy, and I am influenced by Magritte’s use of juxtaposition, Chirico’s expressive architectural forms, and Balthus’ vicious eroticism. In addition to the fashion model, the Madonna, and Surrealism, American culture has an important effect on my thinking. I accept the literalness that is inherent in most Americans, but look towards our society with ambivalence. This ambivalence along with its implied social comment is expressed by my attempt to narrow the distinction between illusion and reality. The way I present the woman image is determined by my machine esthetic which has historical parallels in the techniques of fifteenth century Flemish painting and Neoclassicism. Through chronological analysis of particular paintings and drawings in terms of their image and technique, my philosophy is made cogent by its manifestation in my work. The image has evolved from an emphasis on the figure to the dominance of her architectural setting. And the setting has developed from a flat abstract background to a more realistic one. Certain techniques and skills such as figure drawing, preliminary studies, and working methods are a determining factor in the success or failure of my work.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

John Kacere

Second Committee Member


Third Committee Member

Clinton Adams