Josephine Clark

Art History

Josephine Clark is a multimedia artist and student at the University of Colorado Denver, earning her BFA in art practices with an emphasis in sculpture, painting, and drawing, a BA in art history, and a minor in business. She works with a plethora of mediums to create whimsical and alluring sculptural and painted works. Clark’s work references her own femininity, mixed cultural background, family dynamics, inner child work, and the complexity of the relationship with the Self. She is passionate about creating opportunities for connection in her community and providing accessibility, education, and healing through the arts.

Thesis Title
Two is the Loneliest Number:
Depictions of Friendship in Contemporary Western Art

Romantic love has been widely depicted in art and examined by scholars; however, platonic love between friends has received scant scholarly attention, leaving a gap in our understanding of how such images embody the cultural practices and values of their societies of production. My thesis examines examples of Western European and American contemporary art that depict friendship. I will compare these relatively rare images from the Western world, a region with high rates of depression and other affective disorders, to images of friendship produced in regions of the world that that report higher rates of health and happiness. This discourse reveals how the value placed on community in a given society positively impacts the mental wellbeing of the society. I argue that artistic portrayals of friendship complicate traditional notions of love, and in the process, challenge Western capitalistic values centered on individuality. By investigating artistic depictions of non-romantic platonic love, this project reveals the relationship between Western notions of individuality and artistic production, and highlights revisionist interventions that seek to erode the focus on romantic love.