My work is about honesty. This series is done only in marker- like a blunt word that gets blended and rubbed out as soon as it is said. It’s been a challenge to tackle such an immovable medium. In the past couple months I keep replaying a memory of when I was around 8 and drew an undiplomatic picture of my uncle featuring a scar on his forehead. He praised me and kept the drawing. Sometimes I quite like what I draw but it surprises me when people are pleased by it.
I’ve finished 150 of 200 portraits! As the fall began, I struggled to deconstruct, then reconstruct my goals. Im starting to get commissions. My show on the 14th of November at Studio Morey will be my third exhibit in the last 6 months. I am overwhelmed by the quickness that all of this exposure is happening, but also feel incredibly excited. This month I met someone who had seen my work and knew me by reputation before the introduction. When I went to hand her my card she already had picked one up at a different exhibit! I’ve pretty much cut my time in half per portrait (2 hours rather then 4/5), but the amount of work left is truly enormous. On my days off I sometimes draw 8-12 hours. 5 drawings is pretty much my limit. I’m having breakthroughs of style. When an image isn’t working, I move on. When Ive realized the initial shape was wrong, I start over. I’ve been working to figure out better ways to represent subjects that are POC. I continue to use color experimentally. I’ve started working with overexposure as if the camera is boring into people and revealing the most shadowed parts of their faces. I’ve also been practicing drawing multiple images from the same sequence- more like animation.
Chin Study, August 2015
The subject of the series is the emotional vulnerability, and often discomfort, that happens when you document people. I shoot continuously until the person is unable to pose and a confrontation occurs between subject and documentation. When I depict this confrontation, as a viewer, the subject confronts themselves. Sometimes you have to photograph a long time. Sometimes its there the first shot. Sometimes it just dosnt happen. The shoots that disturb me are with those who are unable to turn off their camera performance. This indicates either a person has been taught not to feel violated, or perhaps worse a person has been taught to ignore feeling violated. Sometimes I depict this trauma, but I do not seek to take it from subjects who it belongs to. I do not seek to violate. I do not need to. Continuous documentation is enough to learn whats true.