For me art is like baseball – you honor the game, you learn from and build on those that came before and then you try to take it in new directions.
Vermeer’s The Girl with a Pearl Earring is the obvious model for this portrait that I did a few years back. I clearly employed the fleeting glance back.
I love Vermeer’s The Girl with a Pearl Earring for several reasons but in particular, it is that he has created an ambiguity from which several alternative realities are possible. His portrait lacks leading context, so it is up to us to provide the narrative.
I try to exploit the effects of a “shared” gaze. It is the foundation of my current work. We are drawn to eyes. I want you to feel like these women are staring into your soul. There is a difference between a person in the painting simply looking at you versus engaging with you. The gaze can work both ways in that you might crawl behind the eyes of the person in the picture and see what she sees.
More at www.stoehr.us
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