Growing up, I have felt a longstanding desire to be accepted by others. This is a struggle that I have dealt with for many years while trying to discover my identity. While finding my role in society, many outside forces have put pressure on how I perceived who I am as an individual. Of those forces, what hurt me the most was modern-day communication. Hidden behind a screen, people have begun to send hate-filled messages with little thought about the repercussions of their actions. These messages received through social media harmed my mental health and how I saw and defined myself. My work focuses on the idea of facing rejection, discovering self-identity, and building self-acceptance. Unread Messages is an autobiographical display of phrases that reflect my experiences of interactions online.
Receiving these vicious remarks are invalidating, by reclaiming these words, I can assert new meaning into them. I chose to use everyday fonts that are familiar paired with bright colors to offset the representation behind these paintings. When I hand paint these expressions using watercolor and ink, the process for me is therapeutic. However, when spending time alone painting these remarks, it can hurt my mental state. Sometimes it is emotionally draining when you let other's actions affect you, I had to realize words have no power unless you allow them to have meaning. Unread Messages has given me the ability to heal and reconsider who I am because I do not allow for these words to define me anymore. While rejection is inevitable, this work allows the viewer to question whether other people can define who they are as an individual.
Personal Web Site of Trevor Doell