I’m delighted to see the synchronicity of “#portraitnovember” happening on twitter at the same time I’m prepping a portrait-centric event to help illustrate and celebrate my new single, “Theater of Mirrors.”
At the risk of becoming redundant, I want to ask again:
Portraits reflect both subject and portrayer, but where does one end and the other begin? Where does your vision of me veer off slightly from whatever the “real” me is? And how do we know that is the actual real me, and that your vision of me isn’t actually more real even yet?
My party on 15 November has been designed to explore that question, not only with regard to me as subject, but the audience as subject, as well.
I’m painting “the world as I see it (and that includes y-o-u),” within the framework of this release part and through the lyrics + general vibe of the song (soulful, trippy pop produced by brilliant Grammy-winner Michael Leonhart, a member of my all-time fave band, Steely Dan. And yeah, you’re welcome that I selected such brilliant colours and a great brush to paint you with 😉 )
At the same time, part of my party includes “me as the world sees me.” And like a mirror aimed at another mirror, this is bound to create a bit of a feedback loop. If you spend too long trying to differentiate source from reflection, subject from portrayer… well, that feedback loop could maybe drive a person a little crazy.
At a certain point you ask yourself, “Is this driving me crazy? Or am I behind all the crazy-making, myself? Wait, what happens if I… stop trying to decipher what’s what?” Eventually, you throw your hands up and say, “Wow, I actually don’t give a damn what’s right and wrong anymore. I just wanna be friends with the world. We’re all just trying to do our grocery shopping and get home to eat.”
And so, for this music-based artist, the seemingly narcissistic act of commissioning a dozen portraits of myself has had the auspicious side-effect of sending my ego out the window.