One of the sources of inspiration for my upcoming show was the depiction of Dorian Gray's ballroom in the television show, Penny Dreadful. The terrible power imbued in Mr. Gray's portrait has always fascinated me. Seeing it brought to life in gory detail recently got me thinking of the true power behind an image of the human face, an image with clues about the sitter. But what really blew me away visually is the ballroom of portraits. The way it is shown in Penny Dreadful, is a seemingly large, opulent, usually empty room. But the room is far from empty; the walls are covered with portraits of all shapes and sizes. They are hung salon style (to the extreme). The portraits are of different people, different styles and different frames. It is wondrous and beautiful. Each episode I found myself begging the camera to slowly pan those walls as the the star of the show rather than the actors. This is the effect I hope to give at my exhibition, though with a modern twist. I'd love to hear our opinion about portraiture in general and the effect created by a large group of portraits hung together.
To me, the power of the relationships just doesn't come through as well in a gallery setting. They belong in the intimate setting and lighting of the home- no matter how cramped or grand, just like the people themselves. Specifically my portraits. I miss their chatter in my studio. It was a loving, comfy crowd, stacked and jumbled with affection. We are stronger together after all. Next time, I would love to have them all elaborately framed and hung in a chummy fashion to off set the cold walls of exhibition. And yet, take a close look at my tribe and how they gaze around the room. They reach out to one another, or look inward and yes, some are looking at you. Enjoy!