“Painting offers artists a chance to subtly segue between fact and fiction, to layer each work with the time it takes to complete it, to retain a sense of fluidity while working so sections can rise and fall in importance.”
A photograph is a moment; a split second captured with a click and the ‘beauty’ of it is that it never changes. Looking at these generic portraits as a departure point I translated this ‘beauty’ into ironic reality of loss, impermanence, erasure and human absence substituted by patterns. This metamorphic conversion of human form is just a subtle reminder of rediscovering the obvious.
Drawing my inspiration from family and studio photographs this body of work investigates the horror of reality; the erasure of human sentiments.
A series of generic “Doll like” portraits supporting adult expressions and confrontational attitude have been visualized in the form of passport size “attested” photographs. They not only provide a common ground of identity, it reduces the element of nostalgia attached to photographs in turn dealing with the irony of reducing the sanctity of humanity down to numbers.
The eyes look up at the viewer with what seems to be an expressionless, strong gaze, almost, as if posing a question to the viewer. The wide-eyed faces indicate the contradiction between the ‘doll-like’ and the narrative that is being built with patterns. The portraits trigger a lot more than what I had imagined, they question the scope of a photograph, the significance of the number, gender politics, and the socio-cultural associations with the passport-in a language we all speak.
Departing from a series of family photographs the journey started from working around the idea of loss impermanence and erasure. Photographs appealed to me because of the fact that they never change, even tough scenario changes the next moment after the “click” and eventually situations change, people and their presence change and in the longer run photographs become documentation, a memory of that time.
The whole idea about posed photographs appealed to me and how while posing we look straight into the camera and eventually strait into the viewers eyes. I tried capturing that strong confessing gaze by painting the naturalistic portraits but during the process the portraits evolved into a series of “Doll like mannequins”, ageless, genderless, identity less that adapt themselves in the photographs with the props and accessories attached to them.
Idiosyncrasies involved in passport photographs regarding gender, age, nostalgia, resemblance and preciousness of the identities embraced in one’s passport, builds a narrative around a character, which becomes inseparable from the image. A portrait devoid of all these characteristics not only questions the existence of all these concerns, but to me, these generic portraits break the sanctity of individuality. Underlying these painted representations of manipulated photographs is a narration that talks about this metamorphosis that doesn’t deal with evolution, On the contrary dehumanization of being.