January 11, 2013

Feminist Friday: She's 13

She's 13

I wanted to share a mixed media painting I finished a little bit ago entitled "She's 13". I created this piece for Oklahomans Against The Trafficking of Humans to help raise awareness of the growing problem of human trafficking and modern slavery. Sadly, the average age a girl is recruited into commercial sexual exploitation here in the U. S. is 12 to 13. At twelve and thirteen, I was still playing with Barbies, exploring the outdoors, and reading Laura Ingalls Wilder. What were you doing at that age?

She's 13 detail

I really enjoyed the process with this piece, and I'd like to do more mixed media paintings in the future. It took me quite a while to decide how to tackle such an awful subject, artistically, but in the end I decided to lean toward the symbolic. Here is how I described the piece:
"The trappings of a normal, happy pre-adolescent girl’s life lie torn and ruined under layers of darkness and filth. What should be a time of carefree innocence before the onslaught of normal teenage pressures and changes has instead become a nightmare of sexual exploitation and bondage. Thirteen pairs of young girls’ legs wearing women’s high heels symbolize child victims of sexual slavery being forced into adult situations far beyond their years. These girls have become disconnected body parts, bought and sold for the pleasure and profit of adults. A tarnished gold “Dearest Daughter” seal meant for a funeral spray reminds the viewer that each of these girls is someone’s daughter and serves as a metaphor for the death of their innocence and childhood. This piece aims to impress upon the viewer how very young 13 is."


Briana Shepley said...

You did a hell of a job with it. So sad that childhoods are ripped away like that for so many.

Heather said...

Your piece is fantastic! Did you ever hear anything from this organization? I'm just assuming they got my painting since no one ever contacted me :S

I love what you did with this, and the explanation behind it. Very meaningful!

Susan Lenz said...

Great piece! Thanks so much for the positive comment on my blog too!

Marissa Holt said...

This is fabulous!! What an awesome cause!