My current paintings and drawings
are self-abstractions; visions removed from a source, my mirror
reflection, and separated for inspection by the viewer. Each portrait
does not stand alone as a different and complete representation
of myself. They function more effectively if viewed together as
an amalgam of what an ideal and true self-portrait could potentially
embody. Each one is simply an abstraction and no single one could
hold the weight of being a true depiction of myself. They depend
on each other to establish a dialogue that a viewer can dissect.
Mostly I present myself in traditional head and shoulders format
in life size or larger. The barrier that arises in my work between
the viewer and the portrait, whether it is my actual painted hand
or an element of discomfort in the gaze, interests me.
By using myself as a model, I
feel that I have achieved an understanding of the complexity of
figuration by turning it in on myself. In drawing myself repeatedly,
I am seeking a more substantial understanding of what my humanness
means in relation to the world, both concrete and spiritual. The
works do not depict a figure in space, but rather they are depicting
figure in mind. Therefore, there is no recognizable space in the
works. The figures exist on a different plane as if to mirror
introspection, not practical self-definition through duties or
where ones place is within the actual world. The body of work
represents a retreat from reality and an immersion into the mind
to look for answers about self.
This past year, I have entered into a dialogue with other artists who are also engaged in self-portraiture. This dialogue, however, is not limited to artists because any viewer can partake by viewing the work and relating to the self-discovery and the different processes an artist goes through to convey meaning about him or herself. While many view the self-portrait as a window into the mythologized personalities of artists like Vincent van Gogh, as being eccentric or mad, I believe this misconception to be too narrow of an interpretation. There are as many different types of self-portraiture as there are artists making them.
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