"Solitude and Space"
My art is a diary. I learned from an early age that there were certain thoughts and feelings that I couldn’t express using verbal communication. A lot of the work I do is an exploration of certain disciplines and traditional art, such as figure drawing and portraiture, combined with an experimental component. I also have an interest in a genre called magic realism, which exists mainly in the realm of literature, and uses aspects of realism with some sort of fantastical or mystical element. Normally I work in self-portraits due to the fact that i find it highly introspective and reflective; I learn a great deal about myself through using my own face and body as the subject matter.
For the final project, I was inspired by the works of Alex Katz, Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. All three of these artists worked mostly in paint and sometimes in pencil, which are my most commonly utilized media. These three are all known for using people as their subjects, and I interpret their works as having a universal theme of loneliness. “Christina’s World” by Wyeth, “Nighthawks” and others by Hopper, and many of Katz’s paintings all feature figures alone in the respective environments. I attempted to further this technique and concept by minimizing the backgrounds each of the figures is placed in. While having an empty room or open space definitely evokes a feeling of solitude, I believe that by rendering the spaces of the figures to simple lines and the suggestions of environments, the figures have a greater contrast to the spaces they inhabit. The people I portray are fully resolved sketches in color but they sit, stand or lie in complete negative white space. The idea is that whether physically alone or amongst thousands of people, one can feel lonely anywhere - it follows us and stays with us wherever we go.
The other component I tried to utilize was rendering my images from an aesthetic perspective, meaning all of them are designed to be pleasing to the eye. While their body language, poses and color scheme may seem to indicate sadness, they are deliberate in their placement on paper and in their overall composition. Just as my three artistic references have done, I wanted to make sure that each image is beautiful. Even feelings that seem unpleasant or uncomfortable have beauty in them, whether as being part of the human condition or just for the mere fact that they are completely relatable and part of our collective existence. Or maybe the beauty is in how we persevere in the face of adversity. Regardless, I believe that revealing these truths is the real purpose of the artist.