WE ARE THEM Installation shots
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 over 275 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. Then 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.
A dozen or more approximately 22”x10”portraits are worked on simultaneously with pieces shifting in and out as they develop and affect one another. Gender, race and age sometimes blur. The portraits begin 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, Fall, 2018.
Twenty two of the portraits can be seen in the Lowe Building at the State House in Annapolis, MD. "In Session: Selections from the WE ARE THEM series" runs through April 2017.