Artist Spotlight: Zoe Hawk

A selection of recent work by Columbia, Missouri-based artist Zoe Hawk (previously featured here). Dealing with the complex experience of girlhood, Hawk’s paintings explore themes of adolescent anxiety, feminine identity, and belonging. Often painting in a style that references classic storybook illustration, she intends for the narratives she depicts to be sweet and somewhat familiar to the viewer, yet mysterious or unsettling upon closer inspection. “Sometimes conveying innocence and curiosity, other times confronting uncertainty and fear, my work investigates both the wonder and distress of coming of age,” she says.

The girls in Hawk’s paintings inhabit their own worlds—no adults are visible, though their presence is implied by the tidy suburban backdrops and various modes of femininity apparent in the girls’ outward appearances. Conversely, their inner turmoil, dreams, and impulses are depicted as explorations in wild landscapes or water. Hawk elaborates: “Somewhere between childhood and adulthood—between fairy tales and the dark realities of womanhood—the girls engage in an intricate play of yearning, contention, camaraderie, and mischief, as they navigate their social and physical environments.”

See more from Zoe Hawk below!

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