My work combines traditional women’s craft, contemporary DIY culture, and a love of the unexpected and absurd. The first cozy series began when I found myself newly married and in graduate school. Like an ill-fitting handmade sweater, the cozies are about the claustrophobia of relationships. They represent the ways in which our closest relationships can often walk the fine line between loving and smothering.
“My current Cozy Portrait series expands on the idea of the Husband Cozy. Here, I create a custom cozy for each person in the project – often my close friends and family, identified by the portrait title. Some of the portraits take a week to complete, and some take a year. From the beginning to end, the piece is defined by my relationship, dialog, and collaboration with the person being cozied.
“The process and the resulting portraits are very specific to each person. But by covering the majority of a person’s identifiable features, they also become abstract and universal. While the final form is a digital photographic print, for me, the piece begins with the first conversation, and the first question: ‘Can I cozy you?’”
Skees received her BFA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her MFA from the University of Arizona. She is currently a professor of fine art at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA.