The portrait contains a magical quality that depicts not only the physical but also the psychological characteristics of an individual. Dating back at least 5,000 years, it has conveyed power, beauty, influence, virtue, wealth, and other attributes of the sitter. This magic was enhanced by the invention of photography when the daguerreotype - the mirror with a memory - recorded for the first time subjects exactly as we saw them, forever changing portraiture.
These Portrait Collages are created from 3 centuries of photography and reference European court paintings as well as early American folk art portraits. The cryptic stories they present, set in the mid 19th century American South, are unriddled by their symbolism, giving insight into themes of survival, nature, spirituality, celebration, and death.
My interests lie in the beautifully flawed processes and the haunting characters found in the daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes and carte de visites of early photography. I’m fascinated by the rigid poses, the formal attire, and the anxious expressions distrusting of the new and mysterious camera.