Selfies & Friends: Contemporary Portraiture presents a counterbalance to the sharing of photo images on social media. The show features paintings and drawings by a generation of artists born in the late 1960s-1980s and highlights their focus on producing self-portraits and portraits of important people in their circle.
Artists in the exhibition are: Eckhard Etzold, Julie Gearan, Aaron Gilbert, Buck Hastings, Sophiya Khwaja, Suzanne Schireson, Dan Talbot, and Ben Watkins.
Eckhard Etzold (German-born American, b. 1965), living in New York City, combines painting and computer-generated imagery which investigates semantics of representation. Etzold trained at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin (1992) The Art Institute of Chicago (1990) and Slade School of Fine Art, London (1988).
Julie Gearan (American, b. 1967), creates haunting portraits of figures in motion and contemplation while reflecting 17th century heroic masterworks. Gearan received her MFA (1992) from Indiana University and BFA (1989) from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia.
Aaron Gilbert (Cuban American b. 1979), a New York based artist, paints figures, oftentimes other-wordly, calling to attention the intricacies of human physical behavior as well as symbolic and psychological narratives. Aaron Gilbert holds a MFA in painting from Yale University (2008), a BFA in painting from RISD (2005) and an Associates of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Penn State University (2000).
Self-portraits by Buck Hastings (American, b. 1984)conflate the real with the abstract, dragging the viewer into dream-like pasts. Buck Hastings received his BFA in Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design (2006).
Pakistani artist based in Dubai, Sophiya Khwaja (Pakistani, b. 1982) works with the solitary female figure, the artist herself, navigating the strange and politically charged world while maintaing a heightened sense of humor. Khwaja received her MFA in Printmaking from RISD (2007) and BFA in Printmaking at National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan (2003).
Suzanne Schireson’s (American, b. 1981) bold and fantastic narrative self-portraits expertly explore psychological shifts between the viewer and the subject. Suzanne Schireson holds an MFA from Indiana University (2008); BFA, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Pennsylvania (2004); New York Studio School, Drawing with Graham Nickson (2004); and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Certificate in Painting (2003).
Dan Talbot (American, b. 1974) paints portraits with intense expressions and arresting gazes while his colors shift between vibrant presence, stark absence and use of white. Dan Talbot received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (1996). He was awarded the RISD European Honors Program, Rome (1995-96) and attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine (Summer 1995).
Ben Watkins’ (American, b. 1977) paintings on fiberglass vibrate with a far-removed coolness that highlights the precision of his draughtsmanship. Watkins received his MFA in Furniture Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (2003) and his BFA from Murray state University in Kentucky.