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This is a series of paintings executed in front of the computer during skype-video-conversations with my friends and family sitting for me as models.
Much of my work for the last 7 years has looked at the question of how a painting of a person from life differs from a painting made from a photograph of a person.
Currently, my feeling is that if I make a painting from a photograph of a person it will always remain a painting of a photograph... not a painting of a person.
I say this without any valuation - many of my favourite painters work from photos. It is simply not my practice. It is only a painting done from life that allows me to capture the maximum degree of the presence of the sitter.
I keep thinking: Why is that? What makes the difference in how it feels? ...is it the person's presence in the room, the passage of time, the conversation, the perspective of 3 dimensions?
In exploring these questions - in trying to distill the essence of the difference between these modes of painting - I had the idea of paintings made during video-web-chats: a hybrid of a painting done from life and a painting done from a photograph: stripping the elements of three-dimensionality and presence away, putting a lens (of the webcam) between me and my sitter - but maintaining the elements of time passing and conversation: of engagement.
The model sits for the entire duration of the painting - usually between 3 and 5 hours.
During the sitting the connection speed may vary, pixelating distortions come and go and are integrated into the resulting work just as are changes in the light or in the expression of the sitter.
The passage of time and the cooperation of the sitter to allow themselves to be painted for this long period of time are at the very heart of the project. Without the enthusiastic and lovingly attentive presence of each and every one of my sitters, this work would be inconceivable. For this, I am eternally grateful.