“Just Between Friends and Lovers”, ongoing series 2011-present
I recently started working on a series of traditional miniature paintings on ivory. Historically they were often used as a way to introduce people to each other over distances; Marie Antionette would have “met” the Dauphin (Louis XVI) through a miniature of him, aristocrats would carry miniatures of their lovers while traveling, or pictures of their marriageable children hoping to find them a good spouse.
So, what does this antiquated mode of remembering rosy faces that are far from home have to do with here and now? Well, I began to think that we actually have a version of this: dirty cell phone pictures. You send a picture to a lover when they're away, or introduce yourself to a new one through a quick picture taken in the bathroom mirror, and they can carry it in their pocket and pull it out whenever they wish. Basically a 21st century emphasis of our casual digitalization of something that used to have a very different significance, not that I’m complaining, dirty cell phone pictures make my day.
Each piece is painted using a traditional miniature painting technique utilizing watercolor with oxgall as the wetting agent on certified pre-ban ivory, and then framed in a replica miniature brass or silver frame and is glazed with hand-blown traditional domed glass for slight magnification. I have chosen not to associate the sources’/models’ names with the pieces, just like so many of the miniatures that have survived we no longer know who they are, all we know is that someone loved them.