Paintings Address Cosmetic Surgery
Medina Roberts display of paintings explores perceptions of plastic surgery, mastectomies and breast augmentation in culture.
A strong accent and excited inflections accompany the voice of Medina Roberts as she talks about her show, which examines conflicting perceptions of breast augmentation and other cosmetic surgeries. The images attempt to compare the motivations between a woman with breast cancer to have a mastectomy and a woman who succumbs to the pressure of society to change her appearance.
The title of her show “Love for....??” is left open to interpretation, Roberts says, because the paintings juxtapose the diverse meanings of love: love for surviving, love for life, love for happiness; pitted against a love to look perfect.
“Women need to see themselves as perfect,” Roberts says. Only when a women looks as herself as perfect then the two types of love can be brought together. Her paintings display a sense of love for an active body and the natural energy that body creates.
“I’ll admit it, I’m guilty as charged,” Roberts says. “I’ve definitely thought about plastic surgery, but I want people to see the difference between someone with breast cancer struggling to survive and healthy people paying to make themselves look better, even when it’s not necessary.”
Both are under the same kind of societal pressure, and Roberts doesn’t want either woman to succumb to that influence.
“I paint how I feel, I have to go with my feelings,” she says emphatically. “Whatever I’m worrying about I start to paint.”
Roberts says her work changes all the time, she can paint a landscape one day and people walking down the street another.
“I always do new paintings,” she says. “I continue doing shows because I know I can get better each time.”
Painting ever since the age of eight years old, Roberts began with oils under the influence of her father, who was also a painter. In her home country of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Roberts won many awards for her work.
When she was 21 she moved to Germany, and in 1999, she moved to the United States where she applied for and received citizenship. Once in the United States, Roberts began work as a fitness director and personal trainer. Currently she works at the Sport and Health Club in Central Park.
“I always say fitness is my love and painting is my passion,” she remarks.
Roberts began taking art classes at Germanna Community College once she was settled in the U.S. She had to do different projects for her classes and she began painting her clients at the gym doing exercises. This idea developed into her work today.
“My paintings represent how much pressure a woman is under today. There is so much pressure from society for people to look perfect. I paint about how I interpret that pressure in today’s world.”
Roberts art will be on display at Brush Strokes Gallery through August 28th.