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Friday, October 1, 2010

Seeing the Universal in the Specific

Many years ago I was assigned, by the print company for which I worked, to paint a series of angels.  I worked so hard on those angels.  But the series was rejected for print because they looked too much like real people.  I have struggled with this notion.  I yearn to see universal humanity through an individual, not the reverse.  The market is flooded with images of generic people, done so because, supposedly, more people can relate when a particular visage is rendered in an undefinable way.  These images smack of mass marketing to me and seem somehow cheapened.  And so it goes.

So when I read the following quote about H. Craig Hanna on the website from Amelia Johnson Contemporary, my heart was lightened.....someone else feels the same as I do.

 He paints recognizable human beings as opposed to standard images of physically perfect or stereotypically imperfect 'types'.  They are not, however, portraits, and most have their identities effaced, faces obstructed, but their presence is the strongest and most captivating element in the painting.
 Affirmation.  Sweet.

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