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Partisan (Contest of Legitimacies), 2020




“Partisan” is a series of 50 portraits examining cultural and societal patterns that reinforce polarization in our current moment. These portraits embrace the complexity of our personal histories, and examine the narratives and resulting psychological habits that have brought us to our present juncture. Rendered in red and blue oil paint, they signify a polarized national consciousness, while recognizing that the “Other” has always been part of our own multifaceted history. The root of the series lies in the tension of a personal moment in which we are presented the opportunity to expand our worldview, mental, emotional, and empathetic boundaries. The events of 2020 have crystallized the extreme degree of American polarization – the process of which has been multilayered and complex. Layering different painting methods in “Partisan” portraits brings into greater focus the psychological schizm inherent in the current American perceptions of reality. This layered construction of a portrait feels most honest, as I draw upon my own experience of perceived racial ambiguity.

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12.00 x 9.00 x 1.50 in | 30.48 x 22.86 x 3.81 cm

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Studio Ko Smith

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Studio Ko Smith

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