Irene on Fridays
Irene on Fridays is a newer series of paintings based on a photograph of myself around age 9 with my late grandmother. The photograph was taken by my dad during a trip he and I took to visit my grandmother in Monongahela, PA. This particular trip was memorable for me because it was so happy and simple: we went to a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game; we fed the geese on the Monongahela river; my grandmother bought me this outrageously mismatched outfit (pictured in the photograph) that I thought was so hip. At the time of my grandmother’s death in October 2018, I didn’t have the time or bandwidth to fully realize my grief and pay tribute to her. Her celebration-of-life was delayed until May 2019 due to the schedules and distance between each of the relatives on my father’s side of the family. This series started coming together in September 2019 when I began painting these works every Friday on my “studio day.” Dedicating the time and space to this ongoing body of work has been my way of coping with her death and revisiting memories. The colors, textures, and patterns employed by each painting represent an interpretation of the original photograph in some way and pay homage to my late grandmother’s style and fashion preferences. This series focuses on formal elements such as pattern, surface, and texture in regards to my treatment of each painting.