I am fascinated by moments that are unique to people and our interpersonal experiences and I explore these themes through process, using portraiture as a starting point. Interested in traces of human connection, I set out to test the idea that our personalities are fluid and largely obtained from the people around us; we unknowingly pick up mannerisms, traits, etc. from those we spend time with to the point that it can become unclear which traits originated where. Believing that portraiture may be able to serve as a form of self-portraiture, I began by drawing myself in charcoal for its malleable and impermanent qualities. I then transferred this drawing onto four sheets of paper that would each be used for a portrait of a person integral to my daily life at the moment. Using these portraits as references, I looked for ways to connect each subject with the rest by adding line drawings on top, removing the sense of volume and solidity from the original portraits. I did this multiple times, returning the line drawing to its original portrait, another step removed from the original. Then, using my obscured self portrait as a reference, I placed the drawings in the composition of a single portrait and used line to transfer my self portrait on the others. I used this self portrait as a form of research by going through the process of a universal human experience, and I found that this self portrait becomes more recognizable as others—blurred together in a way that makes it unclear where one personality ends and the next begins.
Charcoal on paper (four 18" x 24" sheets). 2017.
The Fourth Dimension
I would define our "fourth dimension" as the nonphysical space an object, or person, occupies in our memory that degrades over time. To explore my idea of the fourth dimension, I set out to experience this degradation of memory through the art-making process. I began with pieces of a self-portrait in charcoal drawn from life; these would be the most accurate representations of myself but also the least permanent. On top of that, I drew a still life in charcoal of a wire sculpture I had created to resemble my face. This is one step removed from a rendering of my actual face and obscures the portrait beneath it. Then, in sharpie, I added a line drawing of the wire sculpture from memory. This final step, a memory of a sculpture of my face, would be the least accurate representation but also the most lasting and permanent.