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Apprehensive Adulthood Paintings

Tristan Pigott Speaks to the Challenges of Identity Formation

— April 13, 2014 — Art & Design
Tristan Pigott's paintings give form to abstract concepts such as anxiety and self-consciousness. Within the realm of her work, Pigott weaves an emotionally complex narrative about the uncertainties of forming an identity in early adulthood, from worrying about appearances to policing public behavior.

In Pigott's paintings, makeup, clothing and grooming products cease being markers of superficiality; instead, they are morphed into meaning-making objects that preoccupy the inner dialogue of the twenty-something subjects. Pignott is ultimately drawing attention to the significance of cultivating a persona. Each painting has a psychological and emotional resonance, whether it's an image of a girl applying mascara or eating a cheeseburger.

Finally, Pigott's work also points to the prevalence of the male gaze. The men depicted in her paintings seem self-confident, whereas the women are often gazing at the viewer, almost for approval. The men in the paintings don't seem to notice or adhere to any outside 'gaze,' while the women are all too painfully aware of it. This adds a third layer to her work, which already deals with discomfort and uncertainties of burgeoning adulthood.