Figures Present & Absent
Figures Present and Absent are paintings that include, depict, or refer to the human body. Some are in oil, some are in acrylic, some are on loose canvas, some are on traditionally stretched canvas, some include collaged elements. All are balancing between imagery and abstraction.
Traditionally, the figure in Western art is female, naked, and an object to be observed. These paintings subvert that idea in several ways. The “Present” figure is sometimes conveyed in a nonspecific, nongendered form that serves as a kind of “everyperson,” whether alone in their environment or merged into a group, depicted through silhouettes, backs, and hands, faceless or almost faceless. Other “Present” figures are clearly women: empowered female figures who act on their environments rather than being acted or gazed upon. “Absent” figures are suggested by clothes without bodies—incorporating recycled sewing pattern tissue paper—that hint at the presence of a person who may be there or have been there.