Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Painting and Printmaking

First Advisor

Hilary Wilder

Second Advisor

Caitlin Cherry

Third Advisor

Cara Benedetto


In this thesis, I trace the compulsive fear of holes, known as trypophobia, from an uncontrollable obsession to a pleasurable preoccupation. The body’s physical porousness makes us receptive to our surroundings, allowing external matter in and destabilizing the boundaries of self and other. Matter invades us, encoding itself into our DNA and transforming humans into chimeric creatures.

Through paintings and multi-media installations, I encourage viewers to reflect on their own bodies as a series of holes, vulnerable receptors to the world. I use the figure of a woman to personify a human hole which has been infected by the outside, giving her the power to infect others. I employ Luce Irigaray’s formation of mimicry to hyperbolize tropes of feminine performance, building a world where being hole is both offensive and defensive camouflage.


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