Monday, May 23, 2011

On the Surface

Traditional portraiture depicts “who” a subject is. But the true origins of portraiture are connected with fashion. Early secular portraits, were at least as much about portraying the wealth and possessions as the personalities of the subjects (who were usually the patrons). For example, in 1533 Hans Holbein painted the French Ambassadors in the most luxurious of fabrics, flanking their rack of expensive, exotic items from foreign lands. So, in this 4 part series of heads, I used papers, including pages from high-end fashion magazines that are designed to create envy and desire for the goods of the wealthy. The viewer does not know these people; who they are is irrelevant to what they represent. When we browse glossy fashion mags, we aren’t fantasizing about the lives of the models; we are getting carried away by the story told by the clothes and styling. I'm fascinated by the way fashion, perception, and identity intertwine, and I continue to search for new ways to express my ponderings. The word "surface" connects the concept of identity with the physicality of the materials.

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