Corrie Reagan is an Oklahoma-based artist, living and working in Oklahoma City. Originally from Denton, Texas, Reagan received her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Central Oklahoma. Working primarily in oil painting and utilizing traditional surfaces and techniques, Reagan’s work focuses on emotions and personal identity, and explores the universality of emotional experiences.
For centuries, the self-portrait has been an avenue for the artist to tell their personal story, discuss emotions and identity, and even immortalize themselves through artistic conventions. The self-portraits in this series are both a record of my life and an avenue for discussion about the emotions all humans experience, a topic to which each and every person can relate. I take inspiration from the quote by Judith Wright, an Australian poet and activist who said: “Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honored. They are the authentic expression of who you are at your deepest level.” This universal emotional experience joins us together. This body of work creates a connection to cultivate a bond of shared emotional experience across time and preconceived societal boundaries.
Each of these self-portraits has a unique floral motif, selected for its symbolic meaning according to the western tradition of assigning symbolism to flowers. This tradition originated during the Victorian era and continues to find popular usage today, and assigns every type of flower a unique meaning. This meaning can vary according to the color of the flowers and their arrangement. For example, hydrangeas can hold several different meanings based on the variety of colors they occur in. Blue hydrangeas in particular are symbolic of emotional frigidity or apology. I incorporate these floral elements for the beauty they add to the portraits, and I utilize them as important visual cues that solidify or add to the emotional content.
Corrie's work was in our Fall 2018 Group Exhibition, September-November, 2018.