Anti-Portrait (with Butterflies)
oil, paper on board
Anti-Portraits series are created by collecting and editing photographs of beautiful faces, colorful flowers/butterflies, carefully cutting them out saving the smallest details and then gluing them all face down on a board, and painting them over in one color. The oil paint is absorbed differently by board and paper - this creates a very subtle contrast to suggest the silhouettes of the subject. I call this technique a Reversed Collage. Anti-Portrait series deny their images to the viewer - images exist, but not visible because they turned away from viewer. There is fragility and brutality, generosity of material and labor yet emptiness of the end result. At one of the exhibitions, an excessive amount of paintings of pretty young women set in their lovely surroundings made me think of unhealthy cultural escapism into superficiality in the midst of harsh and very problematic world today.