Peggy Reavey's paintings explore dichotomies between good and bad perceptions of the self, traced through personal and historical experiences. As a child, the artist regarded herself as having two versions—the real and the pretend selves. The real one was good, pretty, and smart, and the pretend one was sneaky, dirty, and a liar. Reavey’s paintings reveal the energy required to expose the “real” self to the external world while hiding the version that does things that oppose the “real” self. As such, a tension between desire and virtue becomes thematically dominant in Reavey’s work as she navigates humanity’s destructive and puzzling nature with paintings that feel personal and universal.