I have selected to install a portrait exhibition at this time for a few reasons.
We find ourselves living in a time in which reality is almost daily wrapped in ways that were unimaginable before March 2020 lockdown. We have swiftly entered an era where the very notion of truth or facts is often considered negotiable.
As we reassess the various power structures that landed us here, it is stabilising and reassuring to look at artists who clearly are in control of their craft and who can depict a reality that is material and grounded in recognition of seeing (in the Facebook age) a painting that looks like it is meant to be.
These portraits represent a celebration of life and my vision of that life.
The portraits are more than just a record. I investigate the sitter's qualities such as virtue, beauty, taste, creativity, importance and power.
All the portraits are associated with identity and individuality.
When I work on a portrait, I make decisions around what story to tell about that person. I don't think that there is such a thing as a neutral portrait.
An artist makes individual choices about what to show and how to position the subject. This why many people find portraits fascinating. They tell us something about the subject and tell us how the subject wanted to be represented or how the artist wanted to depict the subject.
I have also included a self-portrait which is a complex aspect of the genre because it brings the artist and the sitter into one with a revelation of a private diary. Historically, self-portraits are linked to artistic identity, experimentation with techniques and autobiography.