“Surfaced – Portraiture”

Selected drawings from a series of artworks called “Surfaced” created in 2012 by artist Melissa Cooke.

Xerox #6, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Xerox #6, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Xerox #5, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Xerox #5, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Slathered, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Slathered, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Ooze, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Ooze, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Obscured, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Obscured, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Cream, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Cream, graphite on paper drawing by Melissa Cooke

Artist Statement: “Surfaced” acknowledges the relationship between photography, painting and drawing in portraiture. I take photographs as I paint and pour liquids onto myself, using my face as a canvas. The photo shoot references the practice of drawing and painting; then the final graphite drawing references photography. The boundaries between the mediums are broken down and the processes are interwoven.

The images depart from the framing of traditional portraiture. The viewer is not given an entire bust of the subject, rather the frame zooms into up-close sections of the face. The cropping pushes the face to the surface of the paper, making the figure more ambiguous. Flesh becomes abstracted: obliterated by paint on the skin, distorted by the eye of the camera lens, or smeared by the glass of a Xerox machine.

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