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Patrick Foran's avatar Patrick Foran

These large scale charcoal drawings examine portraiture as it relates to the social politics of identification. They depict some of the “defacements” that occur in various forms of cultural representation, and ask the viewer to consider their relationship to the concealed or masked subject. The portraits represent the production of new faces mobilized as instruments in the service of other systems or regimes: the entertainment complex, sexual and gender politics, sports competition, the military, the CDC, the space program. The faces have been rendered featureless, their points of identification excised, but in essence all representations disseminated through the media have been "defaced," deployed as propaganda for other symbolic orders. In this way, the face is a sociological and, increasingly, a technological production. It is a topography that hovers above the head, a sur-face ("above appearance"), which becomes a contested site of political meaning.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth:
  • Medium: Charcoal on paper
  • Width: 48 to 58 inches
  • Year created: 2018
  • Height: 60 inches