Culminating in a series of large-form paper portraits, You’d Look Better With A Smile is a multimedia exploration into the intrusive behavior of men through the artist’s reaction to having been told, “you’d look better with a smile on your face.”
We all have a similar story, so capturing the unique experience and emotion of other womxn is key to the project. Over ninety people have completed their own portrait on large-scale prints with charcoal on paper, a medium chosen to embrace the messy, imperfect nature of real life.
This project is used as a vehicle facilitating the similar experiences that we have. To complete their portraits, participants are given a safe space to visually explore themselves in the unusually large format while contemplating their reaction to the phrase, “you’d look better with a smile.” The time and space during the workshop helps participants to embrace what others may see as imperfections, and provides each with a moment to address themselves in a surprisingly emotional way.
My charcoal application was an act of aggression. I do not care for unsolicited advice, and I do not think it’s normal for others to comment on me... I thought about a time I was running when someone shouted that I should smile, all the times I'm deep in thought and someone decided I'm in a bad mood because of the look on my face.
Myesha is interested in art that will impact those around her, using it to question what others consider normal, and to strengthen relationships with like-minded individuals. By producing interactive work and involving others in her projects, she bridges the gap between herself and strangers by examining humanity’s common bonds.