Family Album

 

My thoughts about time, memory and the transition of generations were prompted when I inherited the family photograph albums from my mother and aunt. My exploration of the family album resulted in a curiosity beyond my own family. I began to notice all the discarded family photos in thrift shops and antique stores and started to collect the ones that were most interesting to me. How is it that these are not a part of someone's collection; one carefully passed down from one generation to the next. The dusty, abandoned piles of pictures begs the question; What becomes of us when there is no one to remember. My efforts to animate these strangers, to embellish them, speaks to our own longing to be remembered in some form or fashion.

“Family” as a word, concept, idea crosses all cultures and is one of the few common human experiences. Family is perhaps the most powerful, surely the first and most primal influence in defining who we are or or whom we imagine ourselves to be. The previous generation takes its exit one by one.  As we watch this cycle unfold we realize that “family” is beyond space and form. We idealize the ones who are no longer with us and become keenly aware that their influence. These paintings reveal a captured moment in time, the previous generation recorded as future generation looks back in curiosity. The transition unfolds until it is passed and all that remains is the family album.

LOOKING FOR THE COOLIDGES
 

Someone approached me at an opening offering a box full of photos found in her Aunt's attic after she passed.  Neither she nor her mother recognized anyone.  I took the box and carefully went through the box of over 200 photos, a record on one couple and their two children.  The portraits above are from these photos.  I wanted to find the family that these photos belonged to so taking a pharmacy receipt from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio I contacted the local paper for help.  With the help of the editor and local art critic they were able to locate the brother of the man in the photos.  Ironically, Cuyahoga Falls is only 30 minutes from where I was raised so I was able to deliver the photos in person when I was visiting family.  The family was grateful to get them back.  

 

PHOTOS TAKE A LONG JOURNEY : Akron Beacon Journal