Friday, July 10, 2009
One of my favorite things is old portraits. I am curious to see if those people looked anything like we do now, for one thing. But even moreso, they are profoundly touching -- here's a young man in his Sunday best, now long gone; though his portrait survives, his name is lost. Something about this ironic combination of death, life and identity reaches me deep down. It says something about our condition today, as well, and the questions we may have -- will my name and I be separated when I have died, will someone write my name on the back of my portrait, to keep me together? What is identity, is there identity, is it my appearance, my face or my name? Using these images in my art helps to probe questions like that, but also makes me smile; I feel a tenderness toward these people, my sweet ol' ghosties.