Patrice Sullivan

Patrice’s work is focused on memory and family. She works from photographs, but her paintings are not photorealism. The paint itself, with its restive and gestural surfaces, embodies the memory with which she sees the past. And the past is her family, a sibling rivalry, marital conflicts, divorce and adversity and their effects.

Today, the photographs and slides are used as models are obscure, remote, and part of an old technology. The painted surface of her work is an attempt to recreate that temporal distance from the figures themselves. Still, the figure is the center of these paintings. What was once a poised and fixed figure as a photograph becomes a fluid and tonal image as a painting. The figure, she believes, is the embodiment of human experience, the site of courage, joy, struggle, loneliness, frustration – and memory. As in photographs, many of my subjects are aware of being observed and signal this awareness with eye contact. This synthesis of the photographic and painted image, within the familiar context of family, invites viewers to explore their own memories and emotions about their own families.

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