captive audience #16

Posted on by Wess Foreman

Captive Audience #16, 24x30", SOLD

This is another of my Captive Audience series---listed as number sixteen, though I've surely done more than that amount to-date. It's a series I frequently consider dropping from my repertoire partly because I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. But there are things about the series which I deeply enjoy, starting with the sheer fun I have in creating these paintings but going well beyond that---in fact there is something deeper going on, something I've yet to figure out.

On some level this annonymous grouping of cardboard-cutouts presents to the viewer a series of questions. First of which seems to be: Are these supposed to be people or what . . . ? This is the most common question, especially with some of the more abstract versions I've presented, where the "legs" tend to disappear and the "torsos" and "heads" become even more angular and unrecognizable as human forms. But beyond that, there are questions of community---especially in this digital age where most of us communicate, at least partially, with other people via the Internet. And I tend to look at the individuals in these paintings and wonder what they themselves might be thinking, whether they are feeling lonely or isolated or whether they are content with their station in life, whether they are wealthy or broke or disheartened or filled with glee.

The series presents these faceless figures---voiceless and unable to move from where they stand, unable to communicate even with the person they stand shoulder to shoulder with---and I can't help but think of these questions, these and many more (questions I did not start with but which grow within me the more I paint). All that to say, I will keep up this series of paintings as long as they hold my interest. And hopefully I'll figure out where they are leading me next, and when I do, I'll try to share that here with you.

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