Jessica Lizeth Torres

The Victim’s Hair and The Victor’s Tongue

Watercolor and Ink (5"x7"), 2018
This piece is dedicated to those who can or can't identify with or participate in the #MeToo movement. When words aren't enough, art relieves me by cradling my soul with the colors. I wanted to share this by creating an image of a resilient woman emerging from her pain/abuse/trauma/neglect. There's an emphasis on the hair because that is an organic expression of both our genotype (genes) and phenotype (physical identity) that can be altered by the devastating impacts of chronic stress. The snakes from the woman's head  allude to the legend of Medusa, a golden-haired priestess who was raped by Poseidon- an earthquake god- and later punished by Athena. Other accounts say that Medusa and Poseidon were lovers. Upon finding out that the vow of celibacy was broken,  Athena punishes the priestess by turning her golden hair into snakes. Although the snakes are used as a punishment  I appreciate the perspective of artists (such as Yolanda Lopez) that see snakes as a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, and rebirth. The "Victor's Tongue" sticking out in this piece alludes to the fierceness unleashed from facing, owning, and respecting our vulnerability and convoluted truths that reside  within our preconscious or unconscious minds. I chose to use the black hues for her tongue because of its inclusive and sometimes overpowering nature.  Her tongue is on fire to represent  the hidden voices that are coming to the light.
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