The Evidence of Things Not Seen
oil on linen, toner on silk, audio, 2008
These 104 portraits pay homage to the protesters who were arrested during the January 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycotts. Each portrait is constructed of two layers: one, an oil painting on linen painted from the original mugshot and the second a photographic image printed on sheer silk. The source image for both the painting and the photographic layer was the original mugshot of each protester. This work forms a dialogue between classical portraiture which establishes a position of dignity and honor for its subjects, and photography as document and evidence. On the painted layer the arrest record is omitted; however, this number appears as a ghostly image on the silk layer.
The Evidence of Things Not Seen was commissioned and shown in the New Orleans African American Museum as part of Prospect.1 New Orleans in 2008. For additional images and information, please visit the Selected Group Shows page.