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A young lady with iPod listening to sounds that match the images in the background.
Portfolios: Portraits & People
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American Lisa came up randomly today, and I remembered our brief conversation on the site about your work with more graphic iconography during the seventies and eighties. Looking at this piece again with fresh eyes, it’s easy to see the Pop influence on a distinctive Renaissance portrait. The dark red arch behind the figure’s flowing hair wonderfully merges organic forms of the body with a punchy, hard edged format. The geometry of the circle within the square implies a halo or architectural frame. With only very minor contouring of shadow, “Lisa” emits a dynamic visual presence. I also enjoy the slight elongation of her face, which stretches across her hair and orange turtleneck. She is of the era, but also transcends it with economic design. It’s interesting to compare her to the blonde woman filling the canvas frame in another painting such as Sarah Don’t Turn Away. The inclusion of the iPod brings her into a contemporary moment. But her disengaged/distracted gaze speaks volumes about contemporary portraiture (and life). The active brushstrokes contribute to the energetic tension while offering volumetric highlight and shadow. Sarah, in turning her focus away from the viewer and directing us to her active background, shows us a world with an abundance of diverting and competing sensory information.
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