The contemporary world is presented to us in fragments - in film clips, replays, and computer images many of which are commercial. Popular idols are mixed with serious events. Distant geographical affairs are sequenced with advertisements. Sex and violation are in both the real world and the fabricated world of popular culture.
This environment tends to blur the distinction between actual and altered images and frequently trivializes the former. It also places the viewer within this world of images and empowers him/her to participate. Geographic space and perspective are obliterated. The viewer can appear on TV or video himself/herself. The viewer can change his/her image with makeup, clothes, tattooing and even surgery. He/she can invent a persona and transmit it by computer throughout the world. It is the artfulness and deceit by which images are created and selected that interests me.
By simple processes, rolling or brushing paint, photocopying various images, and transferring the emulsion images from photographs, I wish to demonstrate that personalities can be created from a multitude of sources, real and reproduced, and placed in a context which seems actual.
We live at a time when concern for physical appearance is paramount. Bodies have been redesigned according to fashion and to cultural icons. Ornaments, tattoos and surgical modifications have been employed to make the changes and digital imagery has been used for the presentation of the new look. My drawings show figures, single or grouped, which have been created with a "cut and paste" technique using ordinary materials: pencil and charcoal, photocopies and copy powder, and collaged paper. My intent is to underscore the crudeness of altering the body in contravention to the increased sophistication of disguising the alterations by cosmetic surgery, digital software and ornamentation. My sources include actual models, photographs of models from magazines and, occasionally, appropriated images of recognizable personalities, all of which underlie the drive to modify our bodies.
My works in this show have been created using Polaroid emulsion transfers, both large and small, as well as elements of collage and drawing. To me, the emulsions are like skin, an imperfect cover or integument. In our fascination with the image and appearance, we can place our skin in different ways over ourselves as in these images, all of which are of the same person. We can also place our skin over the image of another regardless of age or gender, as well as over an icon. The choices vary as we remake ourselves repeatedly to fit fashion and mood.
In defense of the solitary image: The human brain and eye are capable of creating a memorable world based upon the images(s) presented by a single canvas, panel or piece of paper. The implication of narrative, the presence or absence of color, the ambiguity suggested by the arrangement or elements in the composition…all classical features of painting…are more likely to transfix the viewer than are moving images or multiple objects in an environment. The emotional experience of the surrounding environment or of the film (video) can be exciting but, frequently, it is a single object or the still frame which is implanted in memory. My intent is to continue using the two dimensional surface to produce images which cannot be overlooked, which continue to puzzle or disturb, and which remain in the mind and recall of the viewer because of the reaction they generate.
The current body of work focuses on personae and relationships. Even within the
studio environment, a model is not solely an object. With or without coaxing,
direction, or provocation a model can project various moods and feelings by
expressions, gestures, and postures. These convey a unique personality and
sometimes, facets of character hidden during more usual social discourse.
In the studio, a model’s identity may be “truer.”
When the artist includes himself/herself within the work, the atmosphere becomes
more complex. Who is creating? Is it the artist, the model (muse), or a third
party? Is the work an expression of a partnership or of a relationship? And
where does the viewer (voyeur) fit in? These issues have been addressed
throughout the history of image making but have been discussed more openly in
recent decades particularly in connection with feminist concerns as well as with
the greater willingness of artists to include themselves in their imagery.
After all, the creative endeavor encompasses issues related to age, sex, gender,
power, and self esteem. And what happens inside the studio happens outside it.
My works are devoted to figural representation in various media. The drawings make use of charcoal (pencil, crayon and powder), pen and ink,
collaged elements (sometimes from copy machines), and photographic
emulsion transfers. The multiple elements “dress up” the figure and vary
its moods the same way individuals enhance themselves with dress,
jewelry and body markings. Paradoxically, the elements flatten the picture
plane, suggesting that the view we have of others may be of “costumes”
rather than of their personas.