Scrapbook, Portraits In Context
Scrapbook, Portraits in Context is a collection of disparate stories told through portraiture. I create each artwork as a self-contained and multi-layered story. Various elements seen in the pieces are meant to evoke personal memories in the viewer.
Like in a scrapbook the storylines vary and presentation style is casual.
My recent set of stories, a diptych, "Caged and Free" created in 2019, focuses on personal freedom. In the absence of external suppression, we humans are captives of our mindset. We box ourselves into compartments, and only a few break free. In this diptych, each primary portrait, was created digitally, using my finger as stylus.
“From…To….” depicts transitions in emotion, mood, attitude and response due to life experiences leading to an inflection point, marked by the dried flower, when personality changes. "From parochial To worldliness," a 51 x 21" work on canvas was selected in 2018 for the 53rd National Juried Artists Exhibition conducted by the St. Tammany Art Association, Covington, LA.
Older stories seen on my website include, "Isolated and Gritty, a Utopian nightmare, a Dystopian reality," a commentary about urban isolation; and, “Artist by Artist,” a real artist in context with his work, interpreted and presented by another artist, me.
I draw or photograph people, and objects, print the portraits on paper, tear these prints, use the pieces and other objects to create temporary collages lit by ambient light for dimensionality, capture the collage in-camera using depth of field as a compositional tool, and print the collage on canvas. In essence, the portraits are created twice. First, as a primary portrait, and second, part of a collage and story. For each primary portrait, I request the subject to visualize part of the story and emote through facial expression.
Post-processing is limited to contrast adjustment. The ephemera are dismantled, and live only as a varnished, archival canvas print, hence the term for this medium, “Mixed media collage captured in 2D, archival pigment inks on canvas.”