[ Inside the Studio ] Mid-Term Critique

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not totally finished (hands holding flowers, and Avery's Power Ranger Logo on Sweatshirt)
In-Progress Artist Statement (oh, the joys of art school... )

My brother died when I was nine years old.  He was six.  When asked of my earliest memory I am immediately drawn to that night, looking out from my front window at the array of emergency vehicles illuminating our yard through the downpour of rain.  As a painter of photographs, it would be easy for me to say that from that moment forward, pictures were all I had left of him.  But as our lives continued and our houses changed, these photographs slowly made their way into boxes and, until recently, never made their way out.  Instead it was specific memories (our last conversation, the sound of his voice, his laugh) that took up the space in my memory and home.  The gravity of these moments, and the effort it took to preserve them, was just too great to allow room for anything else...

But I still find myself left with questions, doubt:
Shouldn’t a photograph last forever?
Aren’t memories constantly tricking and evading us? 

Which can I trust?

Which is more tangible?
Which holds more power?
Which is more fragile?

Which is forever?

My paintings, evolved from individual pictures, set out to navigate this uncertainty as I struggle to articulate my own relationship with photography in the wake of my brother’s death.   My images are blurred, smeared, or altogether empty in an attempt to reiterate the collapsing and reassembling of a moment and it’s inevitably fleeting nature. I use the element of focus and visual clarity as a transcription of memory and progression of time.  I allow my wood supports to show through, as the image disintegrates. My panels are oversized and my figures - life-sized or larger, in an attempt for the emotional weight a 4” x 6” snapshot print inevitably lacks.

As a whole my work is a self-contained world of my history, a nostalgic realm in which my photographs and memories coexist. They exploit the painful absence that is the result of the presence of the image, and are the physical evidence provided for a moment against the otherwise haziness of my history.  My paintings are an attempt to assimilate the contradictions and hesitations that remembering creates, and provide a sense of honesty amid my otherwise fraudulent past.

So... what do you think?  Too much? 

1 thoughts:

  1. Hi Allie...I am your mom's friend, Jeane...No this was not to much. I love your thoughts and picture of your sweet brother, Avery.How very deep and profound his death and your loss have been. I was touched by your expression of your memory and love for him.Thank you for sharing.


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