American Man, 2016
Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 20 x 2 in
Signed & Dated on Back
Cat Sommer’s ornamental-style portraits of friends and family celebrate the relationship between people and the human spirit. Flora and fauna decorate the intimate scenes as flowers become eyes and branches transform into skin.
The representation of motherhood and identity—encompassing gender, culture, race, and sexuality— are central themes in her work. Born to a Colombian woman and an American man, Sommer was encouraged to assimilate as a child. Now a mother of her own, Sommer’s work addresses the complexities of biracial dynamics in the home. Beautiful, strong women are portrayed without being objectified.
Working through the expectations of a Latin woman in a feminist age, Sommer reimagines the human spirit and cultural norms without devaluing heritage and history.