Categories: Visual Arts
I refract the personal through popular culture and the history of portraiture in my paintings. This gives form to a mode that is conceptual and personal.
My work bears the influence of 12 years in Berlin, where I was inescapably an outsider. This drew my focus to language and a fluctuating sense of identity. Upon returning to the US in 2013, this sense of being a foreigner persisted, allowing me to see my own culture from the outside. My identity and role within that culture became my subject matter.
My current series of proxy self-portraits takes the form of screenshots of music I’m listening to on my phone. This series follows a simple set of rules: each painting must be of a musician I identify with, and the song must have personal resonance or an embedded autobiographical allusion. In this way, the painting becomes both a portrait of the musician portrayed and a self-portrait. Portraiture links this series with my own portfolio as well as the history of portrait painting.
In this way, I re-contextualize specific art historical lineages within the frame of the iPhone screen.
The dates, times, battery power and other information in the painting are both symbolic and literal, generic and specific. In this context, these signs, along with the album cover, song title, etc., attain personal meanings and significance.
All of the paintings in this series reference specific events in my life, just as a song resonates for every person in the context of their life.