Past Exhibitions > Kate Doheny

Kathryn Doheny
Kathryn Doheny

For all our country’s supposed sociocultural enlightenment, a striking aggression remains embedded in our language. I have observed a disparity between how we perceive others and how they deserve to be seen. Men are perceived in negative ways occasionally, of course, but I have decided to focus my thesis on what I know from my own experience: what it’s like to be a woman. I have decided to combine puns with feminism because I find the offensive and harmful ways we view women to be absurd to the point of hilarity at times.

In my art, I focus on the concept of the constantly evolving feminist, and I aim to acknowledge that the feminist is not an abstracted stereotype. Rather, she or he is a human being who believes in ultimate gender equality. In my efforts to achieve this illumination of feminist thought and demonstrate the current reality of our destructive perceptions, I have exploited common labels that men and women impose upon women.

“Efemmeral” speaks to how quickly we create judgments about others, and how these thoughts are not always fleeting. Our lives disappear in a short amount of time. Words will stay—words transfer throughout time and generations without us. This is a concept that we often forget. We should understand the meaning of our words while we still have time.

I pair cut-paper designs incorporating dual-paneled “girlish” colors and silhouettes with neon lettering reminiscent of a seedy night in the city. Each paper collage is a manipulation of a well-known female figure oft-attacked in the media. I take my cues from feminists Cindy Sherman and Lilith Adler; their ability to find humor in the patriarchy’s worst facets proves to be continually powerful. Rene Magritte’s brilliant puns and visual deception also have a significant place in my conceptualization of this work. I hope that my audience, composed of people of every gender, class, and creed, can relate to my designs and learn to move forward in a redefined world.