Historically, portrait paintings has primarily memorialized the rich and powerful but in the hands ofAnders Oinonen , Jennifer Sullivan, Melissa Brown, Susy Oliveira and Ryan Schneider the genre becomes a reflection on our population and less about a depiction of a singular person. In Ryan Schneider’s Mask Not Cracking, a seductive women gazes into her reflection on the selfie mode of an I phone, her eyes doubling back at the viewer, entrancing us within her own vision. Melissa Brown’s presents a self portrait of the artist in her studio, by including the mirror she uses to reflect her own self the work acts as double portrait; one can’t help feeling as a voyeur by watching the artist watch herself within the studio.
Susy Oliveira’s work combines photography, sculpture and collage, often sourcing images from vintage pornography found on line, Oliveira will manipulate the found image into sculpture, her works explore a representation of unattainable desire. Oilveira’s Man Seen by a Flower is a 10 time repeating image, shown 4 concurrent times within the same object, as the title suggests the man is being viewed by flora and not by us the human bystander. The repeating image pulsates with a heat and sexually that is reminiscent of its original source material. Jennifer Sullivan’s paintings deal directly and indirectly with her experience of living within a female body. Mundane physical details from her life become symbolic of emotional states. In a series of recent self-portraits, the artist portrays herself eating salad alone or even becoming a salad - a surrealist and satirical embodiment of the pressures of being a woman searching to be her best self. Anders Oinonen’s expressive faces are decadently painterly, electric brush strokes wrap the canvases in a lively dance of deep and bright colors. In these paintings the features that Oinonen depicts morph seamlessly between human and creature, creating a playful face that is familiar but also dreamlike.