This is a series of works on paper. The portraits I begin with a type of collaboration. I hand my camera to my subject and allow them to take 5 to10 self-portraits of their head. By doing this, I immediately make a special connection to my subjects. They are now part of the process. From these images I will select my favorite portrait(s). I begin drawing the head using vine charcoal, switch to charcoal pencils, pastels, and then, I glue tracing paper and/or rice paper to exclude the non-essential. Using tracing paper and /or rice paper leaves a remnant of the underlying portrait (the non-essential). The non-essential is still an important part of who you are. The exposed part of the drawing represents what I consider to be the very essence of that person. This choosing of what is and what is not essential is a combination of intuition and my familiarity with the subject. The end result is a portrait of what I consider to be a combination of the essence and the non-essential of that person.
I started drawing Icons as an excuse to leave my home. To get out and see something local or national that makes (in my opinion) an icon. First, I stayed close to home and drew the cannon that is an iconic image in Union, NJ. This is really a cross over piece. It is part portrait (that is my head being blown out of the cannon) and part Icon (the cannon). Next, I went National with the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell and Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Princeton and so on. I soon discovered that this new series has brought out a revelation regarding myself. The revelation is a contradiction of style. Which is a reflection of self. Control (analytical) versus instinct & impulse (intuitive). I start by drawing the image as tightly and analytically as possible. Next, I apply the rice paper as intuitively and loosely as possible. Lastly, I allow chance to take part in this effort by mounting the work and letting chance have it’s way with the surface. In the end, I can only hope that the viewer receives the image in a visceral way.
Visit the artist’s website: www.nealkorn.com
Contact the artist: firstname.lastname@example.org