Scottsdale Public Art is showing a juried portraits exhibition, “I Am You, You Are Me: Portraits,” at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
The new portrait exhibition will remain on view through June 21, at the Civic Center Public Gallery inside the library, according to a press release, noting the “selfie” age, which photographic self-portraits are abundant.
Describing how “perfect” looks made with ease through filters, angles and lighting is a click away, an artist creates a portrait to satisfy their vision of the subject, whether of themselves or someone else, allowing questions for what the artist sees and exploring: “I Am You, You Are Me.”
“When someone is rendering a portrait, the line between the artist and the sitter are blurred, and the portrait is a representation of the relationship between artist and sitter, however brief or lengthy,” said curator Wendy Raisanen of Scottsdale Public Art in a prepared statement. “There’s energy exchanged between these people. How the artist feels about and truly sees the subject is shown in the artwork.”
Ms. Raisanen was said to be interested in showing the works of artists who created portraits of each other. Some of the exhibiting artists, like longtime friends and collaborators Jane Kelsey-Mapel and Becky Frehse, created humorous portraits of each other holding their dogs and posing with their artwork.
Ms. Kelsey-Mapel, of Phoenix, “stitched and stuffed a photo transfer on a vintage textile,” portraying Ms. Frehse, of Tacoma, Washington, who created what was described as a layered and painterly collage to portray Ms. Kelsey-Mapel.
“As a visual artist, I am usually in the role of the observer. For this show, I became the subject matter as well,” said Ms. Kelsey-Mapel in a prepared statement. “It was a bit like putting the shoe on the other foot. I thought ‘Oh, that’s how she sees me!’”
Other artists submitted either self-portraits or depictions they made of other subjects, the release said, adding Dana Corbo of Scottsdale did both.
“Stubborn,” her self-portrait, shows her entire body from a low angle of view with a variety of details‑bright hair color, exaggerated leg hair, other objects in the background‑that could possibly lead the viewer to draw conclusions or assumptions about her. While asking if they get to know her, Ms. Corbo said she intentionally offered little information in her facial details about who she is.
With “Nicholas in Trouble,” the artist tried to capture an expression of her subject that exposes concern, anxiety and concentration. She composed the painting in a way that her subject’s face is the entire focus, according to the release.
“I like people, but I love characters, especially in novels,” said Ms. Corbo in a prepared statement. “The challenge of painting a face, revealing a person’s character, is equal to the reward of doing it successfully. Dissecting a person and then reconstructing them through painting brings me joy.”
Other artists in the exhibition include:
For more information about “I Am You, You Are Me: Portraits” and to view the virtual exhibition, visit ScottsdalePublicArt.org/exhibition/i-am-you-you-are-me-portraits/.