621 Gallery Presents

We Are The Chicken by Sarah M. Bender

December 1 – December 22, 2017

Opening Reception Friday, December 1, 2017

Soft Opening Thursday, November 30, 2017


Artist Statement: Sarah M Bender creates feminist chickens, often portraying herself as her
alter ego “The Little Red Hen” from the classic children’s book and also in self-
portraits based on childhood photographs. These images as well as historical and
pop culture references serve as a metaphor for society’s expectation of women to
assume many roles simultaneously, and “have it all,” often without necessary
support. By using chickens, overtly feminine wallpaper motifs, and idealized home
settings to explore this topic, Bender mocks notions of female conformity and
perfection and also allows the audience to laugh at the ridiculous lengths women,
herself included, are willing to go to in order to fill all of these roles while clinging to
their sanity. There is a Rockwellian sense of nostalgia and sentimentality in her
imagery, but also an eerie, unsettling feeling from the incorporation of surrealist
elements that break the viewer’s sense of security.

Bio: Sarah M Bender is an Orlando, Florida native with a feminist disposition and a
complex personal history. After graduating with a BFA in Studio Art from Florida State
University in 2010, she returned to the heart of tourism where she has gained both an
appreciation for cultural diversity, and a longing for a cultural identity that doesn't
involve mouse ears. A multi-layered struggle for a sense of belonging often finds its way
into her work, which tends to be autobiographical. Bender works in oils, mixed media
and ceramic sculpture.