Date of Award

Winter 1-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MFA - Master of Fine Arts


Fine Arts

First Advisor

Deb Todd Wheeler

Second Advisor

Stuart Steck


The psychoanalytic concept of the Skin Ego Theory describes the skin as a passage for pain and pleasure to travel through. Remnants of external experiences as well as internal struggles affect the penetrable barrier of the somatic wrapping and leave inscriptions on the flesh. Through my work, I have been exploring the skin’s ability to protect, envelope, and inscribe meaning through my papercuts, oil paintings, and clay sculptures. I procure the marks on my body through kink and BDSM, which then influence the work. Though my bruises may fade with time, my skin becomes tougher. By recontextualizing Skin Ego Theory to fit my studio practice, I have been able to rationalize consensual pain as a way of giving me back my agency when I feel a lack of control over medically induced pain. The skin contains a living memory - an echo of past experiences. These masochistic means of both play and process drive my artmaking practice and my understanding of the body.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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