Winnie Truong: Hirsutus
August 12–September 5, 2010


Drawn with pencil crayon on paper, these portraits are formed from my interest in suspending anonymous characters on a vacant surface to explore narratives of stasis, awkwardness, anxiety, ambivalence, ambiguity, discomfort, and aimlessness. The subjects of these portraits are severed from their natural habitats in fashion and hair magazines. Without its mise en scène, exaggerated hair replaces the narrative authority of pose, dress and environment and complements the vague expressions of the human subject. All at once anthropomorphic, animated, expressive, and self-ornamenting; hair then becomes a significant extension of character. The drawn line also has a direct association with hair, as each strand is evidence of meticulous mark making.

My work explores the monumental and the fragile. I am interested in the way scale influences line, texture and color, and how a minor nuance in gesture can create blemish and highlight imperfection. My work exists amidst the vocabulary of high art and low art. The relationship between large-scale labor-intensive mark making and the juvenile and amateur associations of pencil crayon on paper is the tension I continue to explore in my overall practice. As a series, this tête-à-tête-à-tête-à-tête of monumental heads in conversation with one another collaborates on its own ideas of the beautiful and the beastly.

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