My project is a series of painted self-portraits, each representing a separate identity. I am intrigued by how often I have to change who I am depending on social circumstances. Through the creation of these pieces I not only inhabit each personality, but also objectively study them.
During the maturation process every person goes through we have to make good impressions, and discover ourselves. However, we are not left in isolated introspection in order to achieve this. We are tossed into a whirlpool of friends, family and work situations. Does one betray the self when sculpting or adapting personality and demeanor to comply with situational expectations? Or is truth to self a flexible concept that includes these changes of attitude and attire?
“The Artist,” is a starting point. I view him as a blank canvas upon which the other identities are painted. Working with yellow ochre, Prussian blue, alizarin crimson, Van Dyke brown, cadmium red, and titanium white I compose the flesh of my body. The background is hospital blue, clinical, reminiscent of the exam room. This blue could alternately reference the color of the room in which I grew up. Each piece has the same background, as if they are a collection in the same display case.
The painted portrait is a classic study and one of inexhaustible interest. I look at works by Courbet, Freud, Caravaggio, Van Gogh and Schiele. As many before me have turned the mirror to self, I now turn the camera to self. These photographs are transformed into paintings that contain souls unto themselves, a real part of me. A photo is how the world sees me, but my painting is how I see myself.
This work can be seen as a response to our rapidly changing world and how it necessitate a malleable self. This malleability is not a weakness or a sign of instability, rather a sustainable strategy in the contemporary world. The human animal is an adaptable, social creature. My art explores this idea.