At the younge age of 11 I declared myself an artist. This was influenced by my grandmother and mother, who are also artists. Both women became wives, mothers and caregivers, sacrificing their artistic careers in lue of having a family. In this body of work I explore the lives of my grandmother and mother and demystify their complicated relationship with the gendered expectations of mothers. Their stories are the backbone for a larger dissection of American culture and how it dictates female behaviors and beauty standards, specifically those of aging women and mothers. This body of work upends the binary thinking of America’s socially constructed gender norms and the idealized commodification of motherhood by breaking down restrictive narratives. I create staged images using myself, my mother, sister, grandmother and other women in my life as characters playing out their own lives as well as narrating a larger story. In these images women’s bodies rebel against forced obsolescence by defining sensuality, sexuality and ageing, reframing motherhood and celebrating their femininity; while simultaneously grieving what womanhood and motherhood has cost them.
Allison DeBritz is an artist working with themes of family, relationship, and femininity. Her photographs explore the depiction of women and mothers in mainstream American media and the roles they are expected to fulfil in domestic spaces and relationships. DeBritz has exhibited her work nationally and is a graduate of the BFA photography program at SUNY New Paltz. DeBritz currently attends Syracuse University in pursuit of an MFA in Photography and will graduate in May 2021. DeBritz has taught art in public schools, non-profit organizations and universities. After graduation, DeBritz plans to teach at the university level and work for a non-profit that uses art to empower disadvantaged youth. Eventually she would like to start her own non-profit community organization that brings art and organic food to at-risk youth.