Life, Eden Haas
My series of portrait paintings explores the relationships between people and how their identity impacts the environment and community around them. As an artist, I have been fascinated by the different lives other people live. Since I have gotten the opportunity to meet various types of individuals throughout my time in college, I wanted to portray the same experience in my work. Using portrait painting as a medium to understand, connect, and communicate my experiences with people, I painted separate representational moments of people I have met based on my observation of the relationships they form with other people.
The majority of the paintings pair together, demonstrating either a friendship, romantic interest, or admiration between two people. In each portrait, the individual's aspirations go beyond the composition of their canvas. Utilizing the direction of the person's eyes or face, I try to indicate different interactions between two people. While many of the portraits depict individuals I met in college, I exhibit my youngest cousin facing cross-eyed out to the audience to represent the lack of awareness for others found in young children. The juxtaposition of my cousin's portrait with the rest demonstrates how, when people become older and more mature, they begin to notice and form different relationships beyond themselves. During one section of the series, I showcase how one person might tie their life to another portraying my friend and their long-distance boyfriend, who leaves his frame to live with her.
As a person walks through the gallery, the alignment of the paintings in a row simulates the progression of encountering different people walking through life. Instead of instantaneously knowing the person, the viewer must pause to make sense of each piece and get to know more about the people I portray. Each viewer's experience will vary depending on their impression of the work, relationship with the theme, and personal experience with the people I represent. Since everyone encounters life differently, I want to recognize those individuals and reflect on my relationships with them. However, in the end, I hope through my paintings I can create a richly interactive and interpersonal experience for everyone to connect and enjoy seeing.
In listed in my series: Nicole Smith, Jagger Fenton, Janie Trang Le, Minh Map Vu, Ali Muksed, Shayna Smith, Sarah Persico, Mak Leach, Sarah Emily, Sean Sheehan, and Luca Ferrer