Senior Exhibition Fall 2013, Nicholls State University
Throughout my artistic training I have maintained a primary interest in portraits and exploring the topography of the face with painting, photography and papermaking. I am directly influenced by Chuck Close who says “I wanted to make a big, aggressive, confrontational image…as if the face were a landscape, thinking about Gulliver’s Lilliputians crawling over the face, knowing everything about that face, and not even knowing that they were on a face”. By deliberately abstracting the background and being up close to the individual, I allow the images to emphasize the subject’s reaction and connection to me as the artist. I intend to allow the viewer to create a story or attribute an emotion to each individual work.
When picking the faces that I want to photograph, I tend to be drawn to people with wrinkles. To me, wrinkles on a face show age, wisdom and bring up the thought of death and mortality. With my work I am trying to portray life as well as death, and by pairing each portrait with a place I leave a story for the viewer to create. My photography is influenced by Sally Mann’s work in her What Remains series where she uses alternative processes to explore mortality with her portrait photography.
In my photographs I am emulating the appearance of a large format camera by using shallow depth of field and intensifying this effect in Photoshop. In my paintings and handmade paper portraits, I am interested in the topography of the face, using blocks of color to break down each section. For these works I use a photograph as a reference. They are all on a large scale so the viewer is coerced to confront the portrait. The paintings are layers of transparent paint creating many different textures, and the warm and cool colors contrast with each other to create depth. The people in all the works are either people I’m close to or a representation of a person from my memory.