Bowling Green State University BFA Senior Exhibition 2022
Recipient of the Monnier Family Foundation Outstanding Artist Award
My research through drawing is based on discovery of myself through the exploration of portraiture of close family and friends. Growing up in an Italian household, one value instilled was that family is our most valued relationship; this bond influences my work. We Italians are extremely passionate, we argue with passion, cook and eat with passion, and we love one another with passion.
I have transformed this passion into creating a body of work that I call autobiographical. An inspiration to me is Chuck Close's early large scale portraits. Close chose to only work with references of family and friends, a key distinction between his work and other portrait painters. This is where my work differentiates from Close; not only do I try to capture a flattering likeness, but I also attempt to showcase a soul, which can only be done successfully I believe if the artist personally knows the individual.
My process starts with a photo of someone with a neutral expression, I am interested in how a camera captures someone as opposed to the human eye. I then start drawing using charcoal. I use charcoal because of its malleability. I can shade, add textures and details with ease. I manipulate charcoal in an additive and subtractive process which allows for specific mark making through a classical technical approach.
I chose to draw people that have had an influence on my life and treat the act of drawing itself as a form of contemplation; spending countless hours looking, drawing, and reflecting of the relationship between the person I am drawing and myself. When finished, the drawing changes my perspective of each person; I feel as if through the act of drawing them I have created a more intimate and empathetic relationship between them and I.