In my newest work, Disguises, begun in 2007, my fascination with how people present themselves continues. I have begun a new series of large drawings using photographs I took of children wearing costumes at Halloween, at costume contests, and at home playing with their costume boxes. I am most interested in what children will spontaneously choose from their costume boxes, without any help from parents, and the costumes older children will create by themselves. Concealment and display, beauty and strength, heroism and aggression, creativity and conformism- through costume children can experiment with different types of adult identity and power, explore traditional and contemporary masculinity and femininity, and imagine how it would feel to be someone or something different. Masks add a layer of mystery to some of the portraits.
The portraits are drawn in artist's colored pencil on Strathmore 500 bristol board.
In The Thayer Street Project, a portrait series which I started in 2004, my subjects were teenagers and college student posed in front of their favorite shop or restaurant on Thayer Street, the busy commercial street near Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. I had teenagers at the time and was fascinated with how teens present themselves to the world through their choices of clothes, hair color, make-up, and jewelry. I viewed their dress, in some cases, as costume, and their poses sometimes part of an image which they were projecting. Their faces suggest potential, introspection, vulnerability, independence, and mystery. I approached each portrait with a desire to know the model as well as I could through the hours I spent drawings them, and to present a view of our time: the fashions, buildings, signage, advertisements, shop windows, cars, street furniture, posters, and other evocative aspects of the Thayer Street scene.
Each portrait in The Thayer Street Project measures about 23" by 29". I used artist's colored pencils on Strathmore 500 bristol board.