This exhibition features pieces that embrace the idea of a portrait as an investigation of character and situation, tangible details, and abstract elements. From self-portraits to works that encapsulate the essence of a subject through metaphor or emotion, these works encourage contemplation about how human beings understand one another as well as the world around them. At a time when selfies and casual “snaps,” are ever more present and popular, it is interesting to consider what it means to explore and understand the self and others through two and three-dimensional representations.
On view now is a small selection of the work of Milwaukee-based artistKierston Ghaznavi. She creates articulated paper dolls that represent, in her own works, "black pop culture, afro-centric natural hair, positive imagery of black women, self-love and awareness." She translates her childhood interest in playing with dolls and drawing characters from her imagination into an exploration of identity, realized through anonymous subjects or personal friends. With a process that takes anywhere from three to eight hours per piece, Ghaznavi draws subjects with pen, markers, or ink wash and transforms them into dolls with moveable limbs that range from seven to 24 inches tall.
MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Image: John Cederquist, Never Without His Sword, 2004.