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Portrait art in the 21st century- What's the Tea?

I love bodies. Interesting faces with thick eyebrows and pouty lips. I love elongated necks and clavicles that protrude. I love overt facial expressions and artsy hair. Arguably one of the greatest inventions of the planet, the human being is unmistakably interesting to look at. I just can't get over it. Even if I am doodling, my scribbles crawl over each other and unfurl into an eye or lip. I find no other greater expressive vehicle for artistic communication than incorporating the human form somewhere in it. perhaps its my need to communicate and connect with others. I am drawn to the creatures who speak, laugh, love and reason. We are a complicated lot, we humans. We kill and destroy and love and create all in the same breath. .... and I have this obsession to document it.

Gimmie one sec. gotta. get. this. drawing. out.

When I started the Woman's Tongue Art series, I knew I wanted to use the portrait. I wanted an image that we all are deeply familiar with. As babies, we instinctively hone in on our mother's faces and mimic the expressions of any face within 6 inches from our view. The connection we have to be acknowledged and touched is so powerful that it's said that we could die if we're not touched as a babies. Like the zoomed in concentrated view of the face by an infant, I also did not want the portrait to compete with background images or a bunch of colors.

In the age of the contemporary and somewhat Dadaist approach of modern art today, I chose to be literal.

Yale Art Gallery Dada Ball 2016

Yale Art Gallery Dada Ball, 2016

No shade to the abstract or furry teacup displaying artists out there but I needed to be literal so my art could have a straight up conversation about the happenings of what is going on in my country. I still envision these pieces as billboards around the country and I need them to be quickly digested as you drive by. Yet the thickness of the conversation they spark cant be swallowed on the road. Rather, the messages should follow you into your social circles and be a reference point for your observations of society.

Case in Point:

This artwork "17 DAYS & COUNTING"

could be the punchline when talking about BPL.

I chose to start conversation about the political happenings of my country through my art as simply as I can. My message and intention being lost in subtleties or obscurity was one I did not want to risk. I could not bear the thought of being misunderstood. These pieces are conversations and the messages are quite political. There is a clear definitive position illustrated in each one. I I found comfort in expressing ideas for this series concretely and by removing confusion we can talk plainly.

Remember the "Work of Art" TV show on Bravo?

The tea on the portrait is that its just more straight forward as a medium for my artistic expression ....and I decided to go this route in spite of the risk of being all old- fashioned-renaissance-byzantine-y.

Nuff Said

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