ARTIST STATEMENT: These paintings are set in the era of family trips taken in a station wagon, and portable cassette players with foam-covered headphonesâ€¦ A time just pre-dating MTV, when Polaroid cameras were a cool Christmas present. They are photo-based memories of dream-like images, documenting holidays, vacations, and special occasions. The paintings combine real experiences with the imagined fantasies and daydreams of 1980s adolescence. Each painting presents a seemingly carefree and innocent place or event, but all are tinged with elements of mystery, melancholy, or fear. The images are chosen for their often soft-edged appearance or faded, discolored, and overexposed qualities. The photorealist technique in which they are painted emphasizes these aspects -- the idea is to directly reference the photographic source while also transcending it.
Simultaneously, a series of male musicians from the same era are depicted in painted photorealist monochrome. They represent the music played on the cassettes of introspective adolescence: Joy Division, New Order, Echo & the Bunnymen. Most of them are captured singing into the microphone with their eyes closed, in a dream-like stance. They are presented on dark backgrounds, in contrast to the light-filled photo-memory paintings. In a time preceding the music video, the artist associated these images with the music she listened to on her headphones, often while traveling with her family. They provide a soundtrack to the hazy memories of summer pools and rare southern winter snowfalls. The romantic and sometimes dark themes of these musicians echo the often unavoidable darker aspects of the adolescent experience. They are painted with a solemn reverence for their personal significance to the artist.