Raina Hamner

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Artist Statement


I began a string of countless doodles in the middle of a very lonely winter. And what made this grey season even more oddly isolated than any I’d lived through before was that I had bought an iPhone. And so had most other humans in this part of the world. This series of works represents my addiction and visceral aversion to social media and the resulting motley mascots I created as a way to unapologetically parade my compulsions, disgust, shame, Internet stalking and need for validation and turn my loneliness, body dysmorphia, longing for real unfiltered human contact into an absurd and tender dancing frenzy that made me laugh! My mascot Pretty Papa’s origins are in Bazooka Joe comics. Joe’s strange friend Mort always covered half his face with a turtleneck and had little black holes for eyes that scared me as a kid. He morphed into Pretty Papa who smudged shit and lipstick all over his face while marching around bottomless in heels, accepting imaginary awards, reveling in his bodily fluids, and craving intimacy. Pretty Papa is sexless, menstruating out of his flaccid cartoon penis and checking text messages. Cathy is my other mascot. She comes from the funny pages Cathy Guisewite’s guilt ridden “modern woman”. The Cathy character used to confuse me. She was always sweating and upset, existing in some strange adult world of desks with stacks of paper on them. Her mouth was often hanging open in a strange and disturbing shape. My Cathy took on all my guilt and then thrust her open vagina out while turning into a part of the mountain range. Cathy’s face began to look more and more like an emoji as she sunk into the ground or licked a puddle on all fours while deciphering emoji texts from unrequited loves. This series of works helped me though a rough time. Lol.


Born in New York City , NY 1980
Lives and works in New York City

2003 BFA Rhode Island School of Design

Group Shows and Collaborations

Performance piece in collaboration with artist Agathe Snow The Hostess Never Lies at The Sculpture Center

2009   Sad Song For Those In Search Of What They Came With. Bellwether Gallery. Curated By David Benjamin Sherry

Contributed to the Brucennial presented by The Bruce High Quality Foundation

Manic Panic put together by Shoot The Lobster pop up gallery space in the Lower East Side

Call and Response. Gavin Brown Enterprise
Heartbeats, Hard-ons, and Freak outs. Marlborough Broome. Curated by Tony Cox.
All Types Of Characters. Joshua Liner Gallery
Group show & solstice celebration at The Brooklyn Navy Yard
Character Traits Asya Geisberg Gallery. Curated by Matt Craven
In Bloom 16b orchard street pop up gallery