Everyone at one point in their life has turned to food for comfort. Whether it was after a bad break, a bad day or to suppress your feelings, everyone has done it. Lee Price is an American Contemporary Figurative Realist painter. She takes this behavior and adds her own spin to it, making it more dramatic and serious. Her paintings usually follow two common themes-women and food, and women and compulsive behavior. Price grew up in a household of all women after her father left them while she was very young. She believes that this may be the reason why most of her subjects are female. I chose this work of art because of my fascination with artwork that appears to be a photograph but in actuality is a painting or drawing. The artists’ precision and attention to detail is mind-blowing. At first glance, you may think you are looking at a photograph but upon further inspection, you will notice this in fact is an oil painting. I came across quite a few artists that have mastered this technique however; Price’s work caught my attention because of the unique settings and perspective of the paintings. Unlike conventional artists, price paints her subjects from a bird eye view. In an interview, she clears up misconceptions of the meaning behind this choice. Many believe she is trying to portray God’s eye view or the world’s eye view but in reality, she is trying to portray the subject’s point of view as an out of body experience. She states “ It’s the subject looking down on herself—observing herself in the act of the compulsive behavior, being completely aware of what she is doing but unable to stop.” The settings are usually private and this is done on purpose to show the shame involved with the compulsive behavior. Another element that adds to the feeling of shame to the works is that the women’s face is often covered or not seen. The settings are show compulsiveness because they are usually places to eat food. The nudity also depicts the vulnerable state these women have come to. Price has been painting food and women to shed light on body image issues, along with addiction. I love everything about this painting and I understand that art is subjective and personal. However, I wished there was not such a gender bias because these issues also affect men.
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1. Do you think there is still value in artists practicing realist painting when there are cameras that are readily available and can take pictures of essentially the same thing?
2. Does this painting accurately depict the issue of body image, compulsive behavior and addiction?
3. What are the emotions that arise in your mind at first glance of these paintings by Lee Price?