Marie-Ange Hoda Ackad
11/28/2016 - 12/25/2016
The human figure has in it, the topography of its subject. It represents all that is found in nature; the hills and valleys, all manner of contours and form. My paintings explore an assembly of lines and shapes and territory found within each unique body to reveal a landscape of the spirit of each person.
Abstraction and figuration are simultaneously present through the use of expressionistic yet controlled strokes, suggesting a feeling of immediacy, as though freshly made or completed in a single session.
Working loosely and freely, I let the character underneath the work emerge. Applying a conceptual methodology to a traditional mode of painting, my work becomes not merely a painting of a person but rather a distribution of paint, gestures and squiggles on a flat surface, through which the uniqueness of the person becomes apparent.
This large work, painted with oilsticks on a substrate of birchwood, presents a bold scale that exposes close-up, expressionistic strokes of color. Like a jig-saw puzzle, the shapes, contours and topography fit together to become the image of a particular person.
The large scale makes the work less representational and more abstract, inviting the viewer to look at a landscape through a lowered microscope. From the general to the specific I create an array of shapes and color invisible to the naked eye.
I paint from black and white photographs that I take of my subjects. Using a photograph, the painting becomes not the person but a photographic likeness of the person, also rendering it more abstract. The camera reduces the three dimensional face to a flat representation. This produces an illusionary likeness that is mechanical yet convincing to the human eye.
For this particular work, the woman depicted is wearing a small bikini. She is strong and fit. The large scale further suggests that she is not depicted as a sexual creature but as a strong woman in today’s world.