How do we define community today? Through new electronic networking, our connections with family, friends and acquaintances are increasingly widespread. And yet, we are still drawn to the idea of small communities and face-to-face interaction. Each of the three painters selected for “Portraiture Now: Communities” has explored this idea through a series of related portraits of friends, townspeople, or families. Rose Frantzen has portrayed 180 people from her hometown, Maquoketa, Iowa. The oil paintings are 12" x 12" and were created over a twelve-month period. Jim Torok creates meticulous small scale oil on panel portraits. On view will be his portraits of fellow artists from New York as well as a series of paintings documenting three generations of a single family. Rebecca Westcott, until her untimely death in 2004, created nuanced full-length images of her peers, often Philadelphians in their 20s, which merge expressive figuration with a gritty street art aesthetic. Seen together, the paintings by these three artists suggest the enduring power of personal communities.
Images Jim Torok / Self-Portrait / 2008 / Oil on panel / Carol-Ann Bracken, Dallas, TX
Chi / Rebecca Westcott / 2002 / Oil and acrylic on paper attached to foamboard / Philip Paratore & Michael Landrum, Houston, TX
Sylvia Engel / Rose Frantzen / 2005-06 / Oil on panel / Collection of the artist, Maquoketa, IA