Reflections of Me
Jim West, Reflections of Me, 2018, Steel, resin, concrete, rebar, terra-cotta, 6’ 2” x 30” (187.96cm x 76.2cm), Collection of the Artist, Pittsburgh, PA
Neither a woman nor breast cancer survivor, Jim West’s empathy as an artist and humanitarian strongly influenced his journalistic approach to this sensitive but empowering subject. Based upon interviews with women who survived cancer, and underwent breast reconstruction surgery, the concept of Reflections of Me honored the physical, emotional, and mental journey of these survivors. It captures their setbacks and their loneliness, but also their determination to become “whole” again. Despite their struggles, and the uncontrollable events that forever changed their lives, these women have told their stories and shared their experiences in ways both positive and ennobling. The materials used in Reflections of Me were chosen very carefully: the concrete and steel torso for feminine strength and resilience, a terra-cotta head which is durable yet fragile, and an undulating surface that changes with the light reflects the body as it heals itself.