Student Exhibition Year
Digital photographs of students' faces. Presented as part of the 2021 Annual Student Exhibit in the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College.
My artwork is a constant exploration into what matters to me and my current state of mind. Through my process and even after it's finished my work finds its purpose. Talking to others is one of the most important aspects of my work because other people's opinions and what they see matters to me. Everyone will see my work differently and that is why through conversation and observation my work finds itself and I find its direction. Through these conversations it helps me to find a direction I was taking that I may not have seen or noticed in the beginning of my process. The conversations with the people I took photos of and critiques help me to form a coherent purpose and meaning to my work, especially when those conversations that occurred during the process are featured in my work.
There is something about stripping a portrait of all its identity other than just the physical features. We have been just a face on a screen for over a year now and that one moment or one photo gives the observer their first impression. I am taking all of that away by stripping the color and any contextual aspects of background and explanation. I am projecting words over the entire piece of quotes that people have said throughout the process showing how they were uncomfortable or confident. Showing just the face - taking all context away - and you see them just for what there is to look at. Everyone has a face to show and what they put forward may not always be their best and if it is, is that truly what resides in their minds? With mental health being a very important topic to me it’s also important to remember that everyone may not be expressing how they truly feel. By putting people in front of a camera and adding their statements to the work with no relation to one specific picture it could apply to anyone. Everyone cares about every aspect of one another's life so when you take all of that away we truly see everyone as the same, no ethnicity, no skin color, no gender, no description, just the beauty that's there before you. That's also a take on my own personal struggles with confidence and self-expression. Through this most recent work I am also working through my own mental health struggles through the pandemic and struggling with what happens from here. I always put my best “face” forward but that wasn’t always what I felt inside. I have never been confident in my own work and it scares me but that’s how part of my process is helpful: it forces me out of my comfort zone to do and create what I normally am scared of.
Overall, my art is a constant exploration. Through my process and through dialogue with other people I learn more about what I made. The conversations featured in my work between the subject and myself are an integral part to the piece not only because it involves their own feelings about themselves - but also because they helped me to discover that although they may be smiling now, five seconds before that they were talking about how uncomfortable they were. That’s important to the work because the text acts not only to apply to one person but to all of them and thoughts any one of those people including me could have felt during the process. Through conversations it finds its purpose.
Copyright of the underlying work is held by the artist. The digital image presented here is for educational purposes only and is not for commercial use.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
student art exhibit, 2021, digital photography, portraits, faces, Zoom