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Virginia Derryberry
North Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2016

All of the figures in my paintings are portraits of people I know well and have depicted many times, often “twinning” bodies in the same image or using the device of a mirror to create duplication of forms. Although portraying likeness is important, I also want to convey the complexity of human nature. To do this, I use non-sequential, multiple panels rather than a traditional single canvas format. Like predella panels, my figure narratives are fanciful, contradictory and dramatic. Rather than illustrating one or two story lines or conveying any religious message, however, I intuitively blend narratives from multiple sources and time periods. All of the choices I make force the viewer to become visually involved in the imagery and to question what they are seeing. The result is a virtual, shifting world where nothing is quite what it seems. To me, this is the underlying intent of all portraiture.

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