More about Fatima Franks
Fatima Jamil Franks is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Orange County California. She works with digital mixed media collages. Her inspiration is driven from various sources; such as everyday life experiences to historical references, political, social and cultural issues of our times. Franks works mainly gravitates towards her personal and collective experiences which she translates into her imagery.
Although she works in digital media, she often likes to combine it with traditional methods of drawings and hand drawn paintings.
Franks has a BFA from Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Pakistan, where she lived until her late 20s and then relocated permanently to United States. She received an MFA from the California State University, Fullerton where she was also an art instructor. She underwent further training in digital design at Otis College of the Art and Design, Los Angeles.
Franks recent works have evolved towards a more narrative approach of storytelling, using the figure as a key component, usually set in patterned busy backgrounds
Her experience of diaspora led to a shift by facing a geographical locale in contrast to her own cultural history. This challenges her to question her culture where she grew up in with similarities with the global culture. She creates visuals of the social aspects of how women are viewed from her own perspective and through a cultural context. Through her works she is attempting to create a bridge between polarities of a value system of the two mutually exclusive regions with a common thread pertaining to feminist spheres; using ‘Doll heads’ as metaphors how the female gender is perceived most often, through advertisements, media, and state of affairs relating to objects of appetite.
Influenced by Immanuel Kant’s theory of objectifying of women; Mackinnon and Andrea Dworkin state, “The situation of gender inequality which troubles our societies and is so tightly linked to the objectification of women is created and sustained by men’s consumption of pornography...the sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures or words also includes women dehumanized as sexual objects...” (MacKinnon 1987,176)
Fatima Franks attempts to investigate and re-familiarize her history and culture with a new sensibility by broadening her investigation of the female subject matter; and by questioning and illustrating the many repeated historical and current affairs with relation to stigmatization. The stigma of the mark of disgrace or shame or any sort is associated with women in literature, film, factual or imagined scenarios or history. The concept of whether women are valuable or not comes from either condoning of self-judgment set by opinion of the culture or from the viewpoints of men. In her works, she explores the symbol of the ‘doll’ as relaying information through objectification and sexualization. Her works draw in many of the morally problematic contexts of popular perceptions towards the female gender which are still silently persisting in the current modern culture.
The understanding of these issues hence; blur the lines of geographic locations and conformities of an East or Western culture but rather through a common commentary which is to be felt at a visceral level.