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Tuesday, 7 March 2017



                                                 1m x 80 cm, Collage, Acrylic on Paper, 2016

FEMINITY, SEXUALITY, CENSORSHIP                                

Denise Reichenbach              


My practice is an exploration of all things unseen. I am interested in expressing a raw and pure reality, which emerges out of the stream of consciousness I find myself in while working. One of the main questions I am pursuing in my practice is the quest for uninhibited truth and what this means in our fast paced modern world. It is the search for the ultimate freedom of expression. How can we ever actually be true to ourselves, given that our modern society is very good at keeping us under an invisible cloak of bland uniformity? In my practice, I try to be very conscious about what filters through because of that very fact. There is an inherent level of self­censorship that comes with letting too much information in. Some influences can be so insidious and subtle they seep in like slow­moving poisonous gas, and as artists we need to have eternal vigilance so we can stay true to ourselves and the work.
The level of censorship in the arts and on social media around topics such as nudity and sexuality is quite concerning in my eyes. When we are starting to self censor, becoming our own inner cops, and we stop creating whatever seeks expression from within us, we have lost touch with our truth. This feels like the STASI in your head and nobody should ever feel like they can't express their own truth, just because other people are uncomfortable with it. I believe as artists we have a responsibility to tap into the hidden currents of our society. We are the ones who express the stuff nobody wants to see or hear. 

My influences have been varied. I am generally influenced by life and everything that comes with that. Life itself has so much potential for creativity. I also have a lot of painting heroes who have influenced my work immensely, such as Neo Rauch, Cecily Brown, Paul Gaugin, Hilma Af Klint, Willem De Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Goya, Rothko, William Blake, Edvard Munch, Max Beckmann and a lot of the Old Masters, as well as the German and Abstract Expressionists. 

My most recent work deals with themes of femininity, sexuality and censorship. I work very intuitively, currently using painting, collage, drawing and text as my preferred mediums. The work asks what it means to be a woman in a world where double standards are normal. A world where women are still being treated as the bad ones when they express their sexuality as something beautiful, something to be cherished. There is an intrinsic level of shame that comes with expressing the fact that you’re a sexual being. 

When did our bodies become such a minefield? 

In my current work I like to uncover the shame around sexuality and reveal the innate sacred beauty of two people connecting in the most intense and intimate way. And that is a beautiful goal to have, I think.