I am a painter of people, of faces, recording lives on canvas. I would not say that I love people. They make me nervous and uncomfortable (particularly in large crowds); however, they fascinate me. I have spent hours observing their mannerisms and expressions. I have absorbed through them much of what life offers simply by watching them pass by me on streets, buses, and in cafes, parks, barrooms, and diners . I am interested in describing people through visual imagery and revealing who they are to others. My concern is not merely to duplicate reality, but to seek a higher level which transcends reality. Reality, defined by the Random House Dictionary, constitutes the state or quality of being real, the external world that exists independently of perception. Everyone perceives his own world differently from another. With this in mind, I will be examining the attitudes with which certain artists regard and perceive their subjects, draw ing upon their ideas to form specific concepts and conclusions. I would like to identify the elements common to all portraits which forces appearance to give way to universal truths. If such elements can be determined, it is my intent to explore and write about them.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Smolenski, Diana, "The Vitality of portraiture" (1984). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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