Not really a series of portraits per se, but rather a site-specific installation, these paintings (and their ultra-cheap frames) hang prominently in the facility I manage at Columbia University. Whereas the so-called hallowed halls on most of the campus are littered with ridiculous portraits of donors, trustees, and esteemed emeriti, I've preferred to pay homage to the individuals on whom the school relies to be run: the student employees. If you work for me your portrait hangs on our wall, has been a longstanding prerequisite for working with me, a rule to which there have been only a few exceptions.
Oil on canvas
Laminated wood frames
By the time I moved back to New York, I had become all but disillusioned with photography and the photographic image. Never much of a sutterbug to begin with, I felt hampered by the overabundance of snapshots available online for public consumption. I saw echoes and counterechoes of the same image everywhere, most notably on the abysmally boring dating websites that, I admit, lonely as I was, I indulged at the time. What purpose such repetitions serve, I doubt I could say, and yet I wonder...
Originally posted to Facebook, these "profile pictures", started out as a joke, a satirical gesture. Good friends played along and got a laugh and even referred to the images that the text had provoked as if they were actual images.