Biographs

When we were water

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In the series Biographs I  question representation and neutrality: Is it possible to make an image with enough specificity to call it a portrait without the use of contingent identifiers such as age, gender and race? How far into non-contingency can portraiture go?

 

Exploring these questions, I have reassigned the non-representational qualities of abstraction to give specific meaning, and I use biographical data paired with chance to inform images of specific subjects that are categorized as various “Water Types” such as rain and ocean with attributes taken from the I Ching.

 

In this group of portraits, the images’ dimension is the subject’s height.

LINES

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The horizontal graphite lines equal the number of years in the subject’s life.  Like the rings of a tree where a year with plentiful rain produced wider rings and drought the opposite, the distance between the lines corresponds to whether it was a good year (expansive-wide) or a bad year (reductive-narrow) for the subject.

 

The graphite lines from the paintings extend onto the walls and may connect with adjacent portraits.

A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ARTISTIC PROCESS and CATEGORIES OF WATER

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The action/gesture of the initial paint application corresponds to the feeling of force/energy from a person’s biography.  After the paint is thrown, the “Water Type" is determined by the appearance of the result.

COLOR and SYMBOLISM

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Color choices reflect biographical information, symbolic or real.

Finally, the editing process uses black or white paint, tones which I consider neutral.

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