“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not the sitter.” – Oscar Wilde, author and playwright
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture of a person is like a thorough introduction. A detailed description by definition, a portrait conveys a lot about its sitter: their character, stature, pursuits and emotions. Through a representation, we come to know the featured face intimately. Similarly, a portrait says something of its maker, showing the perspectives and insights of the artist who captures the subject’s likeness or interprets their character.
Considering each portrait to be, in a way, a portrait of the artist, each functioned at some point as a mirror—a looking glass in which the artist reflects him or herself. The Looking Glass as an exhibition explores these multifaceted reflections of artists and sitters in states of stature, vulnerability, activity and honesty. Featuring paintings, photographs and sculpture by artists since the 19thcentury such as Walker Evans, Joe Fafard, Kathe Kollwitz, Diego Rivera and Andy Warhol, some of the works record, commemorate or memorialize; each hints at artist and subject idiosyncrasies, while pronouncing shared elements of our human condition.