patrice sullivan

My work is about memory and family. Although I work from photographs, the paintings are not photorealism. The paint itself, with its restive and gestural surfaces, embodies the memory with which I see the past. And the past is my family, is sibling rivalry, marital conflicts, divorce and adversity and their effects.
Today, The photographs and slides that I use as models are obscure, remote, and part of an old technology. The painted surface of my 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, I believe, 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.