The Memetic Self Portrait Project

 

In preparation for this show, I wove together two, three, as many as five or six separate faces, familiar as well as unfamiliar, mixing ages, genders, races to create people who do not really exist and yet are completely ‘real’.

From these images, I took another step to incorporate my own image (sometimes just a hint) and this personification became a form of memetic self-portrait; an opportunity to incorporate something of myself into an ‘iconic someone else’ to generate an empathic bond.

This series is the beginning of a challenging process that brings me face-to-face with my own assumptions and biases as well as confronting the ideas and influences that guide my work.

These pieces may be difficult to resolve. Some will be deeply personal, exploring my own unsettled residence in this time and place. Some will examine our current state of affiars from an unfixed point of view, creating points of confrontation with contemporary cultural flashpoints; issues of race and gender, as wellas issues of pornography and its source and influence, the concept of celebrit and the fashion and beauty industry with which it shares DNA.

They will also examine cultural icons in the arts, politics, sports and othe institutions by drawing on visual iconography and cultural touchstones like tropes, aphorisms, lyrics, etc.

I hope these finished works also offer the viewer an opening to reflect on their own perceptions.

–David Baltzer, St. John’s, Nfld. Canada