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John Norris

Artist Statement Submitted 2018

For the past several years I have been engaged in a project that reimagines the genre of portrait painting in order to speak about our current moment. By stretching the parameters of the genre and magnifying certain elements beyond their typical roles, I seek to make portraits that investigate our rapidly changing sense of ourselves as we encounter new possibilities and challenges. My initial body of work for this project, titled Occupants, offers a new take on the genre of occupational portraiture by engulfing the subjects with signifiers of their daily roles in order to investigate the nature of our occupations at a time in which we frequently change jobs, balance multiple roles and face increasing professional precarity. My current body of work, Disintegrants, features fractured and abstract portraits that suggest a sense of disembodiment that can occur as new forms of identity emerging from the digital and technological realms make our physical forms feel increasingly tangential.

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