Artist Statement

The imagined faces in this body of work invite an exploration of emotions, desire and fantasy. Who and what is portrayed is only the indirect subject of these paintings; the emotions they evoke are much more consequentive. A constructed and fictional other without context, identity or agency creates an opportunity to more clearly examine the projection of emotion. The constructed otherness functions as a field for the projection of emotion and engagement with fantasy.

I have composed images with very little pictorial information. In some of the paintings, the faces begin to recede or blend into the light or shadows, threatening to vanish into a field of color. The color and light I employ in these paintings suggest an atmospheric and formless world. The surface of the paintings is composed of movements, intensities, saturations and speeds; and the alloverness quality seems to be in constant flux. This oscillation between abstraction and figuration creates an atmosphere that is more inviting to the projection of emotional states. It also functions as a metaphor for the abstract nature of emotions, which can be complexly layered and fluctuate over time.

The expressions on the faces of my fictional paragons are evocative, but of what? I am intentionally equivocal. I am intrigued by the idea of indeterminate, enigmatic, and potentially contradictory readings. These are paintings that resist immediacy and a singular reading. Through the filter of our perception, they reveal themselves gradually, but never completely.

Laurence McNamara