Sunday, September 13, 2015

Faces of the City

Long ago, when I was in pre-school, we made a lot of crafts.  One I particularly remember was a silhouette portrait. My teacher illuminated the side of my face to cast a shadow on a black paper taped to the wall. After tracing my shadow, she cut out and pasted it on a colored sheet of paper (either red or green). One day, when all the parents were in class, everybody's silhouette portraits were hung together on the wall -- without names on them. It was then we discovered how alike we all looked. On the way home, I studied the portrait I had snagged, doubting that it was actually mine. Thus dissatisfied, I tried to make a genuine one by using an office lamp in my room but failing hopelessly because I could not trace my profile while simultaneously looking forward. The above portrait silhouettes were much easier the trace, thanks to my family members modeling for me.

I was assigned this project several months ago, but in the slew of school and summer and school again, it sadly hasn't moved much off the ground until mow. Pictured above are three of the four in the gang. The fourth is still on my easel. They are all quite large, each being 29.5"x23.5" and are made for the sole purpose of bringing color to an industrial-looking Laundromat, here in town. Painting buildings is a new favorite of mine. The combination of geometric shapes and color come together in perfect union, forming an image that triggers a feeling of familiarity in any human who has ever set eyes on a city. I see the city as an area of saturated human experience and therefore find it fascinating. Hopefully others will too and can see themselves or others in the silhouettes of these characters.