If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after being fed through Faceapp (which can change age, gender, etc.), then altered in Photoshop, and then painted in Corel Painter. None of the people actually exist, and thus they are like portraits from parallel dimensions or alternate universes.
This series evolves in ways I can’t really anticipate. I was thinking each new piece is like an additional note in a song: it builds on what went before and adds something a little different, sometimes more familiar, and other times more of a departure. Some of the people, if I make enough of these, will recur.
The last piece was a crazy old guy (me in the role of Howard Beale in Network), and though the pieces are just titled with numbers, I added, “Mad as Hell” (yes, you’re right, it’s a double-entendre). After “Mad as Hell” comes “Elle”. Just a bit of alliteration and assonance.
There are new innovations or twists in each one so far, though later I may just rest on my laurels and add images without necessarily expanding the technique or content in any significant way (ex., I would like to create more images of some of the same individuals to give them more life). This one, however, does have an innovation that wouldn’t be apparent to the onlooker. I have a new method for creating the female versions and making them look more like me (and I also have one for making more distantly related versions). So, the main reason for selecting this image to work with was that it is the female version that most looks like my twin sister (younger), not that I have one.
I’m doing 50% male and 50% female, at least so far. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but that seems to be about the broadest outline for consistency of variation.
As I do more of these I become more comfortable with them being a little disturbing. In the case of this image I’m bothered that this girl doesn’t exist. Of all the billions of people alive, the ones I’m painting only live in my art.
This sort of feeling was a large part of the original impetus for this series. I realized if I didn’t make pieces to commemorate these individuals, they’d simply vanish. And so I wanted to immortalize their fleeting presence.
And so I feel that this girl is, well . . . . . . . . . dead. But here she’s coming forward and looking at you.
Here are some details:
Here’s all 15 so far (in chronological order):
Stay tuned for more entities to emerge.
And if you like the (experimental) sort of art that I do, and you don’t want me to have to quit or put it on a back-burner, please consider chipping in so I can keep working until I drop. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per month to help keep me going (y’know, so I don’t have to put art back on the back-burner while I slog away at a full-time job). Ah, if only I could amass a few hundred dollars per month this way, I could focus entirely on my art and writing. See how it works here.
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