Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art
First Reader/Committee Chair
My artistic practice focuses on the concept of mortality and investigates the human condition. Through my work, I often personify the concept of death and investigate the several forms that it may take across several cultures. The skull is most often used as a symbol of mortality, and it serves as one of the key elements in my work. I am drawn to the elements portrayed in classical memento mori paintings, and as a result, I have borrowed certain objects commonly used in these works and have paired them alongside more modern elements to create a new narrative. With this reincorporation, the figures in my work serve as vessels that evoke feelings of distress and grief.
What makes mortality a unifying concept is that it’s an inescapable experience shared by everyone. At its core, it’s the many perspectives on the subject that fascinates me. The ability to see beauty in what comes after the physical is one aspect that reflects the mystery of life’s fleeting moments. While it may be difficult to come to terms with death, it’s something we must all acknowledge. This is why I tend to avoid portraying figures in my work with distinguishing facial features. By focusing on these characters that lack a clear identity, my intention is to provide my audience with a vessel with whom they may empathize and imprint upon.
Medina, Melissa, "100 Seconds to Midnight" (2022). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 1516.