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Sick hapiness

This is one of my most personal paintings that helped me realize the severity of my illness. Full of fears and feelings of not being accepted, I used to adhere to the logical drug of today's women: eating disorder.

In my case anorexia, which is a complex and devastating disease. As the main causes, I can expose the fear of ridicule, the desire for approval, and the conflict between desire and fear to be attractive. I wanted to go beyond my own biology, to prove that I have the supernatural will and thereby gain on my human self-worth. By denying my problem, in spite of many and obvious signs, I overlooked how I sunk deeper into the disease. Especially because I grew up in an environment where every imperfection is mocked and condemned. That is why I continued to find more and more confirmations in society that kept feeding my disease.

Looking back with the eyes of a cured person, I see this madness and nonsense with myself and also with many others. I am deeply saddened by the stories of these extremely sensitive people who are trying to be worth of living by being trapped in this coping mechanism. Our souls live in different bodies, each having a slightly different home. I wish that the facades of these homes would not be judged, instead I wish there would be more openness and respect for their inhabitants.

I wanted the painting to be very narrative and dramatic, so I used a realistic approach for both figures on it. The woman is facing the viewer, with her face caught up to the moment of happiness. The dynamics between her and her infant (which represents her illness) are in the upper right quadrant of the image to emphasize the weight of their relationship. Background represents sick world of those two figures.

For painting I used a green-red contrast. Red, like flesh and blood, seemed to me the most suitable for this topic. Green, as her complementary couple, was a natural choice by itself. The size of the format is also important for a stronger image experience. I wanted the figure in the picture to be at least as big as the human body, because this way I could identify with it the most. At the same time, the larger format also gives a stronger impression to the viewer.

Spela B. Semrov

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