Thursday, March 3, 2011

6. Robert Mearns

I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2006 with a primary focus in painting. For the past four years, since graduating, I have maintained an active role in the Vancouver art community, continuing my painting practice through the portraiture of young, interesting locals. I’ve photographed and subsequently painted a wide variety of both strangers and friends, from DJs to baristas to burrito makers.

In this, the ‘End of Western Civilization’ age, where seemingly all of history is readily available at our fingertips via the internet, youth culture is suddenly defined by the constant ability to pick and chose, putting pieces of past ethos together, creating a mismatched mash-up of ever-evolving cultural fragments. These fads, opinions, and aesthetics are tossed away just as easily as they’re donned and absorbed, making the individuals that embody them creatures of constant flux. Through my portraits, I try to encapsulate glimpses of these shifting bodies, focusing on idiosyncratic expressions …and social hiccups. For instead of traditional portraiture, defined by Edward Burne-Jones as “capturing expression of character or moral quality” I aim to animate something brief and intimate, such as the moment before a sneeze, when, for a brief instant, a person lets their guard down.

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