oil on canvas
36 x 24 in.
For many years I have used discarded or found photographs as the basis for my compositions and this exhibition is no exception. I like to give the individuals in my paintings another life and dimension when they could have easily just have been discarded or forgotten. Found photographs have furthered my interest in memory and how memories are made and kept alive. My paintings are not purely documentary or nostalgic as I alter and re-arrange the compositions to provide a candid, colorful, glimpse into the lives of girls and women. I enjoy taking liberty to re-interpret the image. Painters have long used photography as a way to help them recall and capture fleeting moments and experiences. I try to flip that process on its head by using ready-made snap shots and turn them into something new. The idea of taking old black and white photographs and infusing them with a unique palette is another way I engage the viewer to think about past and present.
My paintings address ideas associated with transcendence, hope and transformation. They evoke courage and strength. The story line is women, their work, friendships, struggles, aging, social constraints all experienced by each generation, past and present.
© Katherine Strause