One Square foot / a self portrait

One Square foot / a self portrait
One Square foot / a self portrait (oil on canvas, 12" H × 12" W, 2010)

From the Figures series.

This portrait is from the series Through the Eye of a Needle / Interrelated portraits in which the size of the portrait is determined by the subject’s economic value.

The portraits are of people from different economic strata: rich, wealthy, middle class, poor and destitute. The images relate to each other through consistent application of Contrast of Extension (a design principle about balancing differently sized shapes and colours).

For example, a portrait of a billionaire art collector – or an owner of a major league sports franchise – is massive in relation to the relatively small, conventionally sized depictions of middle income patrons and spectators. Portraits of children on social assistance are postage stamped sized. An image of a homeless beggar is seen through a microscope.

Through the Eye of a Needle refers to New Testament proverbs about wealth and Heaven: “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”, Luke 18:25. Interrelated portraits refers to the systematic relationship of the portraits, a secular view based in fixed point perspective.

A hierarchy of painting and photographic methods are employed in this ongoing project: oil on canvas portraits, high-resolution photography, ‘run of the mall’ photos and microfilm.

I’ve begun this series with a self-portrait: One Square Foot