Faculty of Art

Drawing and Painting



Drawing and Painting

“My paintings feature cropped and edited stills from popular horror films and celebrity footage. Drawing on psychoanalytic theories of the abject, I question the function of gendered representations within narrative. Muted tones and blurred gestures act as cinematic filters to induce faded and out-of-focus images, suggesting both the presence and precariousness of monstrous feminine portrayals. In her book The Monstrous-Feminine, Barbara Creed writes that “the function of the monstrous in horror film is to bring about an encounter between the symbolic order and that which threatens its stability.” Philosopher Julia Kristeva defines the abject as the human reaction (e.g. horror) to a threat caused by the loss of boundary between the self and the other. Both Creed and Kristeva posit that narrative depictions of the abject serve to highlight the distinction between order and chaos. Symbolic order can be reinstated only once the source of abjection is confronted and purified (i.e. the demons have been exorcised). My aim is to further blur this distinction between order and chaos by reconfiguring horrific scenes with paint. Through digital manipulation of captured film stills, blurred gestures, and muted pastel palettes, my work mimics cinematic filters and the flatness of the screen. Referencing Luc Tuymans and Gerhard Richter’s photo-paintings and theorist Rosemary Hawker’s claim that what is idiomatic to one medium cannot be translated into another, I freeze moving images and degrade their filmic clarity through the plasticity of paint. By transmuting the cinematography of film into painting, I add a layer of obscurity that points to the limits of all forms of representation – specifically their inability to accurately depict truth. The resulting quiet, ethereal images promote a controlled distance, ultimately inviting viewers to find new ways of reading them.”

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Stephanie Ligeti is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto, working predominantly with painting. Taking a lighthearted approach, she often creates work that reconfigures fictional representations found in widely disseminated images to question and find new ways of reading them. Her works become their own form of representation, conflating previous versions of these images and drawing attention to how constructed our reality is.
OCAD U - Faculty of Art
Drawing and Painting
Major Completed, 2021
Western University
BMOS, Finance
Major Completed, 2010


2021, Stephanie Ligeti: "Chaos Reigns"
OCAD U Virtual Exhibition
2020, Festival of the Body
OCAD University, Toronto
2018, bio/power
Ada Slaight Gallery, Toronto
2019, Marsh Urquhart Memorial Scholarship
OCAD University