New paintings from the ''WE ARE THEM' series
The WE ARE THEM series uses portraiture to spark conversations about empathy and our common humanity. Portrait painting demands curiosity, stillness and deep observation. My images are acts of deep seeing that push past label and judgments; they seek to"de-separate" us.
WE ARE THEM, an ongoing series begun in 1995, has more than 285 panels to date. These mixed media pieces are created from observation & memory over weeks, months and years, each lovingly realized. I begin with a local model, paying close attention to details and impressions. After our session or sessions, I continue alone, recalling as much as possible about the sitter. The remainder of what happens is intuited. I draw, paint, scratch into, collage and stencil. Figures emerge from long histories of surfaces and ghosted images. These are real people, genuine, vulnerable, alive and changing.
After the initial sittings, a dozen or more portraits (each approximately 22”x10”) are worked on simultaneously. Paintings shift in and out of the group as they develop and affect one another. Gender, race and age sometimes blur. The portraits begin alone and emerge as a collective with no hierarchy. Torn paper edges create irregularities and unique-nesses which echo the singularity of the figures. Tacking the portraits directly to the wall makes them more accessible to the viewer.
These portraits, along with interactive programming, will be featured at Creative Alliance in Baltimore, August/September, 2018.