Representing the human figure has been present since the early days of mark making. Portraiture in itself has long been used as a device for propaganda, to idealize and flatter the sitter, or to expose the brutal truth. I am inspired by it’s ability to reveal the depths and reality of a human being as well as walk the line of illusion. With a voyeuristic approach, I expose my subjects from the inside out.
By using the semiotics of traditional portraiture inspired by artists such as Ingres and Manet, I impart integrity on my sitter, as well as use the technique as an agent of revelation. I find the mystery of the human spirit to be the most intriguing subject matter. Each subject’s expression and individual features reveal their psychological state as well as unique presence. The sitters are at once revealed by their insides and are symbolically connected to their external environment.
Inspired by the self-portraits of Vincent Van Gogh and Jacques-Louis David, who mastered the art of passion revealed behind fiery assertive eyes, I chose females as my predominant subjects. In my work they are exposed, revealing emotions of pain, passion, anguish and frustration. Often seen as passive objects of the gaze, historically women were rarely allowed the authority of passionate and aggressive portraits. Conversely, the females in these works either meet the viewer with a defiant gaze or look elsewhere as if disinterested by what the viewer thinks. The women in these paintings are active beholders.