Saturday, January 19, 2008

Purging *Duplicity*

Despite finally being able to spend an afternoon outside with Caden yesterday, I’m still feeling pretty awful. The vomit flu evolved into a serious head cold and I’m currently suffocating under pounds of mucus. It’s fabulous. Needless to say, I plan to take it easy for a bit longer. But, in the meantime, I thought I would keep you busy by sharing the painting series I mentioned a while back. Do you remember when I showed you this picture?



It was a *hint* as to my series in progress (before I got completely distracted/overwhelmed by new medallion collections, parties, the holidays and such).

The series is called DUPLICITY.

Defining Duplicity:

Fraudulence: a fraudulent or duplicitous representation
Deception; trickery; double-dealing.
Doubleness; a twofold state.
Acting in bad faith; deception by pretending to entertain one set of intentions while acting under the influence of another
Doubleness of heart or speech; insincerity; a sustained form of deception which consists in entertaining or pretending to entertain one of feelings, and acting as if influenced by another; bad faith.

Here are the finished Duplicity pieces:



Currently Untitled 1 [Duplicity Series]
By
Amy E. Fraser
Mixed Media Painting [Torn Paper, Sand, Acrylic Paint] on 18” x 24” 140#, Acid Free, Archival Watercolor Paper.



Currently Untitled 2 [Duplicity Series]
By
Amy E. Fraser
Mixed Media Painting [Torn Paper, Sand, Acrylic Paint] on 18” x 24” 140#, Acid Free, Archival Watercolor Paper.



Currently Untitled 3 [Duplicity Series]
By
Amy E. Fraser
Mixed Media Painting [Torn Paper, Sand, Acrylic Paint] on 18” x 24” 140#, Acid Free, Archival Watercolor Paper.



Currently Untitled 4 [Duplicity Series]
By
Amy E. Fraser
Mixed Media Painting [Torn Paper, Sand, Acrylic Paint] on 18” x 24” 140#, Acid Free, Archival Watercolor Paper.



“Currently Untitled 5” [Duplicity Series]
By
Amy E. Fraser
Mixed Media Painting [Paper, Sand, Acrylic Paint] on 18” x 24” 140#, Acid Free, Archival Watercolor Paper.

The concept of the Duplicity painting series is a culmination of dream-state memories merged with real life memories and emotions associated with women’s social behavior. These memories derive from any number of moments experienced in the society of women (starting with high school through today, working in a club of mostly women, segregated social events, etc.). My goal was to create a realm in which the observed becomes the observer. The focus is on the woman’s gaze, where the viewer is not just voyeur but participator because it remains unclear if the subjects are unaware of our gaze, or if we are to be fooled by their performance of emotion. On some level, I was attempting to compare the social scenes of women to a war front where battles are done with gossip, scandal and deceit. I also have a strong connection to the concept of feminine duality; literally represented here as twins (you may note this is a reoccurring theme in my earlier work). My goal was to demonstrate a multitude of aspects related to womanhood; our inner and outer selves and the conflict that duality causes within. Expressing the dual nature of femininity, a flux; good and evil, love and hate, compassion and disregard and of human nature in general. The series title: Duplicity seems to articulate all of the above.

The primary focus of the Duplicity pieces is on the facial expressions and body language, the silent means of feminine communication and interaction. The paintings represent impressions of emotions more then a record of actual events. These are not meant to be portraits of specific people, which hopefully will explain the stylistic departure into these somewhat simplified uniform self portraits with an obvious lack of my *trademark* decoration, jewelry and detail. I depicted them *thus*, so that the viewer could focus on the raw emotional aspect (similar in style to early work I shared last Fall). Rather then celebrating women, as is my primary goal with the Exalted Beauties, these Duplicity pieces lean toward the darker side of femininity, expressing the natural ease of which poisonous words and gossip are dispensed, fragile alliances are formed, and enemies are earned and collected. You will observe that while these twin figures are apparently inseparable; there is an obvious distrust and detachment. Something sinister lies beneath the surface of their relationship. The figures remain symbolic because I would not want anyone in particular to feel accused of extreme bitchiness. Even though I strongly believe that we as women are ALL guilty of these moments on occasion; if one can not imagine oneself as either victim or victimizer in at least a few of these pieces, they are probably not female.

The Duplicity painting series consists of 12 images (7 not shown here because they are unfinished). When I first I imagined the Duplicity pieces, I saw them in a room surrounding the viewer as in a cocktail party setting. I think the 12 need to be viewed at once in order to convey the intended message. So why not wait to share these once I have finished the set? Why was I compelled to share the first 5 pieces right now? Quite frankly, I’m over it. This really is a purging for me. The paintings are large (and overly ambitious considering the time constraints of full time motherhood) and after the lengthy time separation, my passion for the series has dwindled. Having the paintings hanging here in the studio looking at me, waiting for me to finish them, has been negatively affecting me and making it difficult to move on. Don’t get me wrong, I still have an interest in the concept and think it deserves further exploration but I’m not *there* right now. I’ve moved beyond the mental space in which the series was conceived and I can’t seem to make myself go back to complete them. So in order to move on to new projects, I need a clean slate. I feel the need for exposure/closure before I put the paintings into storage. That’s where you come in; I need you to bear witness. So thank you for unintentionally participating in my mental cleansing. :)

Next on the agenda, NEW PAINTINGS, but with out series restrictions; no more matched sets! For quite some time now I have felt like the execution of the coordinating pieces done in bulk has been damaging my creativity, dampening my imagination and draining my joy in the creation process. When I did it to myself again with the recent Exalted Beauties, it was the last straw. So one of my many goals for the New Year is to break free from the self imposed brainwashing I went through during my unfruitful venture into the art publication world. I’m going to MAKE myself work on ONE painting at a time rather then my usual process of brainstorming a concept, drawing out a series of sketches, redefining, reworking and then painting the series all at once. Sounds simple right? Well it should be, but old habits die hard. Wish me luck! I’m hoping this one at a time thing will produce better, more satisfying work and give me less overall stress.


I’ll be back when I have something to share!

1 comment:

Miachelle said...

I like these paintings, and am a little saddened the rest won't be finished. The message and intent behind the series is thoughtful and thought-provoking. AND, if this had been completed and presented as intended, it might make a group of women feel rather uncomfortable in the honesty behind the paintings. Not necessarily a bad thing!