Lara Feldman at Chandler House

Lara Feldman - In Their Nature small



something about the person.


There’s something about the person, well known or briefly encountered, it immediately calls out to be captured.

In the selfie age, the face has become a kind of mask, an expression held for the camera presenting the fantasy that individual wants to project into the future; it’s a caricature that tells us only a small part of a person’s being. Photographs of others are a blend of the fantasies of the photographer and the subject, leaving us with little to decide where the former ends and the latter begins. What is lost in both cases is the ‘inter-face’, the face as a mediator between one individual’s thoughts and experiences and those of others they encounter in the world.

The paintings are not portraits in the traditional sense. Rather than trying (and failing) to capture the appearance, age and expression of the sitter in all his or her complexity, they allow the face to be the abyss it is. They are almost exclusively the product of a negotiation between painter and subject but they evade the problems of deferring to knowledge of the individual represented for the coordinates of interpretation, or onto a definition of aesthetic beauty in choice of subject or handling of the medium of oil painting. The material process is assertive yet exploratory, in which coincidence, chance and slippage are balanced by skill, nuance and strategy.

The fact of an encounter with another person is presenced, without attempting to steal from the individual represented. Rather the paintings leave us in each case with an endlessly interpretable subject, a fantasy of their relation to the artist and a crowd of questions about the intersection of many worlds that brought them into contact, evinced in the body of work as a whole.