Broken Portraits

Broken Portraits

This series began with a vintage portrait photo found in a downtown Buenos Aires bookstore. When I looked at the elegant, turn of the century gentleman in the picture I wondered what he would think about his city and our world today. With this in mind I purchased the photo along with others like it. Some time later I was painting abstractions and impressions of landscapes in Argentina over some of my own color photographs. Using multiple layers of gesso, gouache, dirt, dyes, and gravel I began to "break open" the photos in very irreverent ways.

Some time later it occurred to me that I could digitally insert pieces of the "broken paintings" into the vintage photos to express imaginary thoughts of the people, as if they were visionaries or timeless wizards. I began to merge the broken paintings into the portraits along with other images I have made. They became a fusion of old and new, revealing memories and thoughts of the past and future. The portraits also became a vehicle for me to express feelings about the hyper-complex, often overloaded, information-filled and often stressful reality of contemporary life.

These multi-layered works are printed on rag paper with archival pigments. I subsequently work in more details on each piece with gouache, metal leaf, acetylene and other materials.