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Artist Statement

WHERE DRAPES MEET CARPET is a series of self-portraits which navigate questions of gender, identity, and stereotype within a constructed allusion of domestic space. Utilizing both the self-portrait and the still life, this body of work engages in conversations of representation and agency, as well as in an art historical absence of the two. WHERE DRAPES MEET CARPET navigates an anxiety of the feminine ideal and the complicated relationship between bodies and domestic spaces. The domestic presents as a perfectly manicured, ornamental representation of home space, consumed by nauseating plastic colors, the rashy skin of a leather couch, and the screaming of floral patterns. The carpet is a disorienting swath of caution orange and the drapes are a hurricane, sweeping from ceiling to floor – decapitation to the subject. The figure often renders as two-dimensional as a paper doll – a lifeless pawn to be draped across the couch like Manet’s Olympia. The diptychs stretch and distort the body beyond real dimensions, which tethers to the cultivation of beauty and confronts an obsession with the body and its appearance, past and present-day. The housewife sets the table, a still life dinner party of rhinestone fruit. Fragmented pieces of body lie strewn about a still life, contorting the body and questioning the equivalence of its parts. Am I no more than the mythical pomegranate of fertility? Is the flesh of my skin that of the rotten pear?

WHERE THE DRAPES MEET CARPET is an ongoing inquiry of gender normative stereotypes and the fabrication of identity.

About the Project 

  • Medium: a diptych, a framed photograph, and a photographic installation with pedestal
  • Student's Name: Kylee Isom
  • Major: Art
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2023
  • Hometown: West Plains, Missouri, United States
  • Student's Mentor: Joe Johnson
  • Mentor's Department: Photography


Sarah Humfeld

Kylee, I loved reading your artist statement! I had seen 'curtainpiece' on display on campus (without an accompanying artist statement), and gained a hugely different perspective on the piece based on your statement. I appreciate the care you take to place your work in context. Thanks for sharing!