This post falls into the category of getting to know your blog editor. In December, I was asked by the artists’ social networking site ArtBistro to curate an online exhibition, drawing from the huge number of member portfolios posted there. The exhibition went up earlier this month, and will be up for a few more weeks, after which it will have a permanent home on ArtBistro’s art gallery page.
The task of curating a show from such a large amount of available work was challenging, especially since site members work across a wide range of artistic disciplines, and reflect different stages of professional development. There are portfolios by working artists, students, and hobbyists, and the mediums covered include not only painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography, but also such things as makeup and theatrical prosthetics, experimental projects, and occasional pieces that defy easy classification.
Rather than focus on such categories, I decided early on to look for works covering a chosen theme across the entire spectrum. Going in to the process, I had a vague idea of doing a slightly unorthodox exhibition of portraiture; this was at least partly because I knew a few artists outside ArtBistro making work that fits that theme, and I wanted to get them to join the site and include them in my show. As I worked through the portfolios online, this theme began to coalesce, and the exhibition seemed to take shape almost naturally. I’ve written a short essay for the show that sets out my thoughts on the topic of portraiture (and what I wanted to get out of it) in more detail. You can read it at this link, and also see a slideshow presentation of the exhibition. For the time being, the show can also be viewed as a gallery of thumbnails at this link.