October 18, 2015
Opening reception: September 9, 2015, 6-8pm
Lesley Heller Workspace is pleased to present Who, a look at contemporary portraiture. Although we live in the “digital age” and human contact is often limited to social media, artists continue to have the desire to create a portrait. They have not tired of exploring ways of capturing a likeness, essence, personality, or emotion of another person. Who attempts to explore some of what inspires contemporary artists to pursue this oldest of art forms. Each artist has his/her own twist on portraying their subject as well as with which materials, from the traditional oil on canvas, or ink and graphite on paper, to video, paper maché, or clay. The idea of creating an exact representation is usually not what excites these artists. Some are attempting to capture the emotions or a particular psychical state of the sitter, for others their goal is to make a political or social statement through the portrait. Several feel it is the human connection, the experience shared between the sitter and the artist that keeps portraiture relevant to them. Not all use the traditional artist-sitter dynamic. Some pull their “sitters” directly out of literature or art historical paintings. Physiognomy, which is an assessment of a person’s character based solely on their face, acts as yet another attraction and intrigue. It is interesting that in our technologically heavy and extremely busy lives, the hunger to capture the essence of humanity is still needed by many artists working today.