This painting is a set of 58 portraits called My Matrilineage. I began this quilt of faces on a single 60 x 48 inch canvas two months into the pandemic shutdown. It honors all of the women who raised me. My mother's portrait, plus a bunch of other mothers in my life: my art teachers; my aunts; my grandmothers; my great-grandmothers; my great aunts; my sisters; my therapists; role models from TV and the internet; etc. It's important that no one's really smiling, like for a photograph. It's more about taking these people very seriously for the serious work they've done, which is raising other people [even the ones who never had their own children. We mother too.].
I am using the word ‘matrilineage,’ but because this is a representation of people who have not all literally given birth to me or whom do not share blood with me, I am extracting the nuclear family from the word ‘matrilineage’—reclaiming it—and formulating my own chosen matrilineage.