Patrice Roubidoux

From the Earth to the Morgue, 2024, Oil on Canvas, 20″ x 16″ x 1”

Foundations of Decay, 2024, Oil on Canvas, 20″ x 16″ x 1”

Patrice Roubidoux

[BA] Studio Art – Painting

[BA] Art History

“Flesh is the extravagance within us set up against the law of decency.”

Georges Bataille, Erotism: Death and Sensuality


The cadaver has played a significant role in the development of Western art. During the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, for example, studied and dissected corpses for both scientific and artistic pursuits. Caravaggio and Gericault used dead bodies as a reference in Death of the Virgin and Raft of the Medusa, respectively. Anatomical theaters were depicted by Rembrandt and Thomas Eakins. This tradition has carried over into contemporary art, with photographers like Sally Mann and Joel Peter-Witkin utilizing the decaying body as a subject in their artwork. Combining my interests in the art-historical cadaver with the “philosophy” of horror, my oil paintings merge these two concepts by suggesting the action of autopsy as an artistic endeavor. I aim to challenge the well-known genre of portrait painting, instead painting a portrait from the inside–a portrait through the organs. In contrast to the painting technique of alla prima, or wet-on-wet, I start by working in thin, gauzy layers to build up thicker, more opaque layers. This creates more depth and nuance of color within my paintings, allowing for that disgustingly juicy, fleshy look of meat. Through these paintings, I want to elevate the dissected body, transform abjection into adoration, and continue this paradox where “horror” is indistinguishable from “fascination.”


Patrice Roubidoux, born in Omaha, Nebraska, is completing BAs in Art History and Studio Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an expected graduation date of May 2024. For the Fall 2023 semester, she studied abroad at the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence, Italy. Her honors include a Cather Award, a Regents Scholarship, a Jeanne Trabold Scholarship, and the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Dean’s List. Her paintings will be included in the Capstone Exhibition in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery.