Laura Travnicek

Revealed in Me (2019)
oil paint
5 x 18 in.

I paint selfies. My participants take photographs of themselves and submit them to me through email. I pair the images with other selfies to create familiar stories of relationship. While traditional portraits often portray real life, I am trying to mimic a reality that feels familiar but is only imitation. Making these fabricated portraits helps me analyze the areas where I have simulated my own reality in order to create a better story for myself. I choose to use submitted photographs as my visual references because it challenges me to accept what I’ve received as reality before I create the fiction.   Due to my older sister’s mental illness, I am the self-perceived first born child in my family. My psychological birth order and my true birth order have idled me in a space that is between these roles. Sometimes I mimic the nature of a conscientious, well-organized and serious first born. But sometimes I choose to copy the roles of a typical second born child. In my work, I use this sense of mirrored identity to create fictional portrait stories in which I choose the truth.

© Laura Travnicek