About Face: Portraiture – A Reflection of Ourselves

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The latest exhibition at Studio 18 opens this Friday, Oct. 4, with an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. As the name suggests: “About Face: Portraiture,” features a collection of multimedia portraits by a select group of seven artists who explore the intimate world of portraiture creations.

“I don’t think an artist is successful in painting portraits without seeing themselves,” said Jill Slaughter, curator of special projects of the City of Pembroke Pines.  “There are many people who can draw, but there are few who can capture the soul and essence of a subject. To portray the essence of a person one needs to understand more than anatomy, color, light, shadow and composition. Keen observations about the subject have little to do with capturing realism, and more to do with the artist’s ability to build a trusting relationship with the subject, often times revealing more of what a person hopes to conceal.”

Exhibiting artist Jc Bravo exaggerates and distorts facial features to reflect his sentiments on society. He grew up in an improvised town in Peru before moving to Miami. The American consumer culture of ‘bigger is better’ made such an impression on Bravo that when he paints a portrait he swells the head, and enlarges the nose which serves as a visual representation for the opulence and the congestion and things that are bigger than life in the United States according to Slaughter.

It is this pure observation that Bravo brings to his art, thus infusing a soul into his painted subjects. Bravo shared: “Painting portraits is my passion, I believe painting should go beyond just merely copying a faithful likeness; it should be able to give insight into the subject and artists.”

The other exhibiting artists include Diana Contreras, Barbara M. de Varona-BMD, Elyse Roth, Alex Altidor, and Buddah Funk.

Slaughter takes pride in offering accessible art to the public, and thus strives to incorporate a community engagement component in any of her curated projects. About Face is a nod to the military and intends to pay tribute to those who served our country.

She contacted Veterans of Foreign War post 8195 in Pembroke Pines, and invited those at the post to contribute to her show. Considering that some of the war veterans are not trained artist, she suggested they show a piece that addressed their feelings like a hat, a photograph, any thing of sentimental value. “I wanted them to look at themselves, and show us who they are,” she said, of the visual memory showcase of the Vietnam War by post 8195.

In addition, a whimsical public art project “Face Bombing,” by artist Todd Brittingham will conjoin with the show.

At the opening reception on Friday, some of the veterans from Post 8195 will give a reading from a book that they coauthored, recounting their service.

Attendees will be treated to a live musical performance will be provided by Savannah Ashton.  A customized photo booth will be set up for all attendees to snap up fun images as a keepsake. Props and backgrounds will be provided for a suggested minimum donation of $3. Proceeds will benefit Veterans of Foreign Wars.

About Face opens Friday, Oct. 4, from 7 to 10 p.m., and is on view through November, 22, 2013, at Studio 18, 1101 Poinciana Drive, Pembroke Pines. Visit www.ppines.com/studio18, or call 954-450-6947. Admission is free.


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