Madolyn Jewell: I've Discovered That it's Mostly About Me

Artist Statement

My artwork navigates the complex terrain of human connection and our capacity for both compassion and resentment towards those who cause us pain. I explore the nuances of these complex relationships through my depictions of archival familial photographs. My painting joins this conversation about family, exploring the absurdity and beauty of human behavior in close relationships. I extend empathy towards those close to me, as well as those who have hurt me. In a portrait, I study a person’s face, enter their mind, and embody their suffering. In this way, my art becomes a mirror for myself as I process my own emotions through understanding other’s pain. “I’ve Discovered That it’s Mostly About Me” demonstrates what a person’s modern day camera roll may look like, showing a variety of intimate moments with the self and others in each square. The painting invites the viewer to gaze at someone else’s life, despite a camera roll being a personal and guarded possession. The squares within the painting consist of varying emotional states and landscapes. This way of thinking reveals how multifaceted a person can be-blurring the lines of what makes a person ‘good’ or ‘bad’. These ambiguous expressions and diverse color palette encapsulate the intricate nature of a person shaped by their experiences, while showing the vulnerability encapsulated within one’s personal photographs.

About the Project

  • Title of Work: I've Discovered That it's Mostly About Me
  • Medium: Large scale 60' x 42' oil painting
  • Student's Name: Madolyn Jewell
  • Major: Art
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: 24-May
  • Hometown: St Louis, Missouri
  • Student's Mentor: Anna Wehrwein
  • Mentor's Department: Art