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Life-size Encaustic Portraits: Hemingway, Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe

My inspiration for “The Immortals” (2012 exhibition) manifested itself from two interests: drawing portraits and biographies. The exhibition is a collection of contemporary portraiture combining elements of realism with vigorous brushwork using encaustic paint. The subjects are 20th century luminaries who made preeminent contributions to literature, cinema and humanitarianism. Each figure is depicted in a peaceful surrounding in their prime of youth. They are brought together by a common fate – all died tragically. Death is symbolized by painting each figure with closed eyes. My influence stems from Victorian postmortem photography. Less expensive than painted commissioned pictures, photography allowed many Victorians to memorialize deceased loved ones. These photographs tended to depict the corpses as still living propped up on furniture or held by a family member. My goal is to offer a sense of peacefulness and familiar place or image to each person to counteract his or her tragic death. To read the complete artist statement for "The Immortals" click here.

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