Amateur / XXX

category: amateur

where are the images from?

“The source images are all amateur pornography thumbnails from the internet. The paintings are exactly the same 2.5 x 2 inches as the thumbnail image on the computer screen. Even when rendered most faithfully, the paintings are much harder to read “literally” than their source material. Where the original image was extremely graphic, now painterly marks, color, and composition vie for equal attention, and this in itself seems to obscure the graphic subject matter. The eye flips back and forth between marks of paint and the “readable” or recognizable content of the image, between a literal and an abstract experience.”

How did you choose which images to paint?

“Primarily my choices are about light, color and composition. The amateur pornography is preferable for multiple reasons: 1) the lighting is usually natural, so there are more interesting shadows, shapes, and dark spaces. Because it doesn’t conform to such a prescribed form as “professional” pornography, there is more opportunity for surprising composition and light. 2) I am interested in the self-staged or un-staged nature of it—the fact that the people in the image chose to present what they present. That fact brought the subject matter to life for me. 3) I like the cinematic nature of the images. They feel like moments in a real drama, rather than staged formulas. As a documentary filmmaker, that aspect of real-life observed drama is very interesting to me.”