Sit Still: Self-Portraits in the Age of Distraction
Curated by artists Patty Horing and Deborah Brown, Sit Still: Self-Portraits in the Age of Distraction brings together a diverse group of contemporary figurative artists whose works are rooted in feeling and self-expression rather than 'effect' and affectation.
Sit Still offers a survey of how artists working in the tactile media of painting, drawing, sculpture and hand-painted animation are exploring the concept of ‘self’ in the digital era. To make these authentic and meaningful works, artists must confront their own vulnerability and engage deeper layers of the psyche.
Each artist brings a distinctive approach and interpretation to the genre of self-portraiture. Ranging from lyrically representational to surrealist, comic, or abstract, the 29 works on display share interesting common threads. Many artists, including Polina Barskaya, Matt Bollinger, Deborah Brown, Patty Horing, Doron Langberg, Alina Perez, James Razko, Sally Saul, Hiba Schahbaz and Hiejin Yoo, present psychologically revealing narratives through scenes of quiet intimacy.
Other artists symbolize their own place within art history, as seen in the works of Julie Heffernan, John Alexander, Esteban Ocampo, Lavaughan Jenkins, Devan Shimoyama and Danny Ferrell.
Bold portrayals by Ashley Doggett, Mu Pan, Anastasiya Tarasenko, Brittney Leeanne Williams, Philemona Williamson explore identity through a lens of race or gender.
Works by Alonsa Guevara, Jenna Gribbon, Scott Kahn, Alexander Kaletski, Aubrey Levinthal, Anna Park, Hannah van Bart, and Anna Weyant investigate aspects of the self in ways that are more mysterious, abstract, or ambiguous.
These varying choices of handling and media highlight the unique personality of each artist. As all works are recent, they express individual perspectives from the same contemporary context.
These self-portraits do not strictly aim to convey what the artists look like, but rather how it feels to be them. Perhaps the combination of vulnerable introspection and authenticity of vision is what keeps both artists and viewers interested in self-portraits – paintings that create space for anyone to sit still and contemplate what it means to be human.