Mia Chaplin’s latest exhibition, presented by WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery at Untitled Miami, delves deep into the complexities of womanhood, portraying it as a continuous struggle for autonomy and identity. Chaplin’s figures are caught in perpetual motion, symbolizing the ongoing tension between empowerment and restriction, self-ownership and societal imposition. These pieces vividly illustrate the dichotomies of womanhood: the freedom and joy of self-indulgence, confidence, and purity, juxtaposed against the constraints and expectations imposed on women.

A recurring theme in Chaplin’s work is the pervasive and disturbing reality of gender-based violence, which is an especially disturbing epidemic in South Africa. Her work addresses the unsettling truth that women are often most vulnerable to those closest to them, shedding light on a society where safety and security are elusive. Through the thick impasto and gestural brushstrokes, Chaplin explores the human body as a site of conflict and resistance, a battleground where power struggles are vividly enacted.

Yet, amidst these challenging themes, Chaplin’s work also reveals the inherent beauty, warmth, and softness of the female body that can be found within safe and protected spaces. Her figures embody the multifaceted roles of the virgin, the mother, and the witch, encapsulating the diverse and, at times, contradictory aspects of the female experience; making a powerful commentary on the resilience and complexity of womanhood in contemporary society.