Life Diptych

Life 1 and 2 diptych

This double portrait project is one that I devised in my studio. Fiona is very generous with her time and I enjoy painting her. There are several artists that have painted clothed and unclothed portraits of the same person or couples in essentially the same pose. They appeal to me as much for the psychological impact as well as the challenge. The one that I remember most clearly was by Tai-Shan Schierenberg.

Since the paintings stand side by side and are of the same person in essentially the same pose, the challenge of representation is increased because it becomes very easy to see if there is an error in one of them.

I really enjoyed this pose because of the crossed angles, foreshortening and elegance. The composition is a very simple one so that there is no distraction from the figure.

The question that I hope it poses is this…. Which is real life? dressed as we usually are (psychologically defended by layers of pretence), or naked, not pretending, open to what comes next with nothing to hide. If the later, then why do we let most of lives be defined by the former?

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