top of page

Fellows of Contemporary Art

Los Angeles, CA

May 2022

The portrait is a cut inside the subject. Their breath is frozen, motion ceased, and they become eternally suspended in a moment of time, space, and perspective. As soon as the image is made, its moment departs, with only a phantom in the photo to retain its memory.

The image is then torn from the artist’s control, and offered at the foot of the Locus of Mediation (what Lacan calls the site where gaze meets the subject of representation). At this site, the subject is confronted with the gaze of the world around us. These eyes are marred by social tradition, cultural systems fraught with unruly standards of race, gender, and all other identifiable markers. The body becomes a landscape of projection – either a wasteland of imposed archetypes or a terrain of resilience, a site capable of embodying a better future.

Not only does the artist become subject to external eyes, but also to their own. In dealing with portraiture, one becomes an outsider to their body, forced to confront how they view and represent themselves. The “space beyond,” from which the artist takes the photo, almost becomes more significant than the subject itself. This imagined space reveals how one chooses to view, frame, aestheticize, and memorialize the phantom of themselves. In understanding the importance of this imagined space, portraiture can extend past the physical boundaries of the human body, as we project our essence onto the world around us. There’s a vulnerability in this – to open up oneself enough to let other figures, objects, and people come into contact with our spirit. There’s a vulnerability in all of it.

We find ourselves in the backsides of our lovers, in flowers for our mothers, and in the setting sun, as fragments of light graze our shoulders.

Featured Artists: Victor Alvarez, Josh Cabello, Paarsa Hajari

bottom of page