Emma Krenzer, a 19-year-old student from Nebraska Wesleyan University, turned her sexual assault into art for a school project. After taking a nude photo of her friend and printing out a life-size copy of it, she covered the photo with finger paint and provided a key for what each color meant. It quickly went viral after sharing the final product on social.
“I made this project largely for myself to actually visualize the lasting impact that touch can have on an individual,” she told Buzzfeed News, explaining that the project was “depicting touches from different people in [her] life.”
“I thought about what was true for myself, and also, what I perceived to be commonly true for people in general, when I mapped out these touches,” she added.
As you can see in the photos below, each color stands for a different kind of touch from a different person, including her parents, her friends, and “someone [she] told no.”
Krenzer finished the project the night she got back from the Women’s March in Washington D.C. She posted the photos to her Twitter account with a caption that read, “The prompt for this project was to create some sort of map. I created a map of human touch on another humans [sic] body and it’s [sic] lasting impact.”
The response she got was incredible.
“Some people told me they burst into tears after viewing the piece and others thanked me repeatedly for creating it. I really don’t have the words to describe how it makes me feel,” the artist said. “I think openness and vulnerability of it is allowing other people people to make themselves open and vulnerable as well.”
when i read what the red areas were my mouth dropped. This really is an amazing work of art, makes you think&appreciate
— ❄️succubitch (@tayyllorxoxo) January 24, 2017
I saw this tweet this morning right after I woke up and it was sooo breath taking. It's such an emotionally touching piece.
— Cry Baby Cancer ♋️ (@mwells627) January 23, 2017
seriously can't stop looking and getting goosebumps. Plz do a series because people need to see your work 💕
— Allie Laing (@allielaing_) January 23, 2017
omg you're famous now. this made me cry pls never stop making art, emma ❤
— seattle 🌻 (@NotWashington_) January 24, 2017
this made me emotional in several different ways. beautifully created.
— soup time (@eggymum) January 23, 2017
Krenzer has since planned to make a larger series inspired by her initial piece.
“I just really like working large scale with the human body and expressing important messages about it,” she said.