Natalie Strait

 Through a semi-autobiographic and queer lens, Strait's paintings explore the uncertainty of modern feminine existence, portraying complicated women in multiple states of being. Strait is interested in the way that women (consciously or subconsciously) control how women are perceived through our personal curation of objects: clothing, housewares/interior spaces, material possessions. Compositionally and thematically referencing vernacular photography, the women in Strait's paintings appear anxious, bored, hysteric, in love, regretful, at odds with themselves, at peace, posing, performing. They exist for themselves, while self-aware of the conditions in which they exist in and are viewed through, defying gendered conventions by taking up space.

Their bodies are in a still dance; jutting out and gently grazing the edges of the frame, spaces and shapes are abstracted into flatness, creating a coexisting duality between “real” and “unreal.” This interplay between realist and abstract qualities mirrors the dichotomies Strait's work explores—what is perceived and what is objective, what is performed and what is felt.