This work confronts our society and world in its treatment of the vagina as a topic and image. The work is also about the lack of representation of people with vulvas;vaginas (women) in and outside of the art world. The work comes from a strong belief that how we see and approach sex impacts our respect and acceptance for ourselves and others - and thus our worldviews.
All of these acrylic paintings and Prismacolor colored pencil drawings on paper are self portraits. They were originally painted methodically on the right-side pages of the open book "Sexual Intelligence" by Palo Alto, California therapist Marty Klein as Raventinkie critically read and took notes in the book. The paintings quickly emerged not only as an adjacent reading activity but also as a statement about women's current and historical representation in voice - especially in regards to authorship and women's health. Historically men have been credited for portraying the other "female" form with a number of male gazes through various mediums, but these paintings of Raventinkie's are of the artist and done by the artist herself - with no outside person's gaze (and because the viewer's gaze is welcomed (a choice made by the artist/subject, the power in making the images and having them viewed by the viewer is still retained by the person portrayed, the artist).
There are 101 paintings in this series. The first 10 are shown on this webpage. Each of the 101 are painted from a different photographic portrait, which was photographed and composed by Raventinkie. The paintings sometimes reference other artists, art history, feelings, seasons, and the written material of the page on which they are painted.
Sculpural Rock Paintings 2012 - 2016
Raventinkie has always collected rocks and studied ornamental, Midwestern gardens; rainforests; and deep oceanic life as a child.
The sculptural paintings embody 2D Design. Elements of 2D Design uphold Raventinkie's spiritual and religious beliefs, which are in tune with natural cyclicality.
Love & Trust 2014
This wall-covering, 12 foot-long by 8 foot-tall, acrylic painting on unstretched canvas serves as a map of a relationship between two people, starting at the very center point, expanding outward in incrementally increasing-in-size repeated forms as the resulting form as a whole reaches the edges of the canvas. Like most of Raventinkie's works, one unit is repeated to create something more.
Ratios: [petal:flower], [line or dot:image], [person:community and society], [molecule:organism], [bonding moments:relationship].
A thin etching in white paint is carved downward from the center point to the very bottom center of the canvas' edge, symbolizing the delicate line of trust and intimacy.
Pothos 2011 - 2012
These are Prismacolor colored pencil drawings on vellum (semi-porus, smooth) acid-free paper of the plant epipremnum aureum otherwise known as "pothos" and commonly sold in hardware stores across the western world. The tropical plant cleans common household toxics from the air and originates from under the rainforest canopies of Eastern Asian - the reason why it can thrive with little sunlight and water.
Story of how this work came to be: "My grandfather passed away in 2009, and in condolences, my grandmother received an extraordinary amount of plants of which she could not take care by herself in her grieving. Three of my immediate family members and I each took several plants for which to care. In a couple of months, I departed my grandmother, the rest of my family, and the US to live in Florence, and when I returned nine months later, I began finding epipremnum aureum plants secretly put in a vase next to my art studio sink. I was touched by the greenery - especially since my grandmother had followed my grandfather, passing away while I was out of the country. I gathered the plants in my painting studio, finding comfort with them, and I began painting them, thinking about my grandparents' sweet sentiments and how my family members had come to care for the epipremnum aureum and other plants they had from the funerals. ...Like the plant's natural expansion in growth, the plant's image crept into each of my acrylic and oil paintings, which were about our detachment of nature, how within that thought we garden, controlling nature, and my own reconciliation or acknowledgements of American mass produced systems of food and product consumption, which are not earth-friendly.
After moving to San Francisco in 2011, I further researched epipremnum aureum, thinking more about my personal heritage and ethnicity: the plant migrated probably with immigrants and explorers to the US and my eastern (Chinese) and western (European) family migrated to the US. Studying one leaf at a time, I drew it on an otherwise blank sheet of white paper, honoring the organism by forcing the viewer to now view only the plant leaf "front and center" (instead of as an anecdote in my previous works). (And in this process of honing, I stripped the leaves from any surrounding environment, mimicking me in my new environment in San Francisco away from any family or friends.)"