The Head of The Matter (or on the subject and its portraits )

It is eternal a subject that the very origin of picture making may be derived from an account by Pliny the Elder of the Corinthian maiden Dibutades' attempt on preserving a remnant of his beloved about to depart. This was also to be how painting originated - as a shadow trace from a profile cast on a wall. This seems to make all subject matter of painting as mere projections from its maker, not just mere mimetic resemblances or copies of what they purport to be in the physical world. Hence, of portraits it's also often said :

"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself." (Oscar Wilde, from The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890)

The Head of The Matter investigates the differing vagaries of portraiture, as the physiognomic contours of material and gesture of its making revealed as well in the organic relationship of viewer and the subject of viewing - are they symbiotic or rather parasitical of each? Or are they pools of mirrors reflecting a thousand reverberations of the view of the world as for each portrait, a subject that encompasses a whole world within one's self ? Or do they also serve as autobiographic vessels of its wielder? Or do they merely serve as an exercise in control in the purely plastic domain of the picture? 

However, or whatever the motivations or impulses there may be in producing such, portraits remain as testimony in our desire to be immortal. 

Opens nov. 8 Friday 6pm
On view til Nov 24, 2013
Presented by Galerie Anna 

*Photos by Lena Cobangbang