Continuing through February 12, 2011
Ben Durham lives and works in Midway, Kentucky and is a native of Lexington. His "Text Portraits" on paper depict friends and acquaintances from his past with whom he lost contact. Durham mines police reports looking for familiar names and faces, and the socio-economic implications are clear. He uses the mug shots as the basis of his images. Often Durham draws on thick pieces of hand made paper incorporating hand written memories into the composition; portraits are thus literally composed of the artist's narrative recollections.
In addition to the portraits, Durham creates maps that outline where the person lived. Sometimes the maps are presented with the portrait, other times they are cut apart and reconfigured into the silhouette of the person's mug shot. The effect is actually subtle and mysterious, and they function not only as portraits but as a way to construct personal history through quasi-public reference.
Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal © 2011
Marc Selwyn Fine Art