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Portraiture: Representing Identity
- Famous to Anonymous
- Defining Relationships
- Internal and External Reality
- Observer and Observed
Portraiture has evolved from a static and posed genre to a fluid and interpretive one. Once the preserve of the wealthy and powerful, today’s portraits contest tradition by depicting subjects whose lives and identities are representative of the common rather than the exceptional, and/or that challenge convention. Portraiture echoes the very medium in which this exhibition is presented; Collection X is representative of the democratization of both the web and the space of the museum. By drawing on images from the AGO and from the public, this exhibition highlights changes in portraiture through similar developments in the way that portraits are presented to the public.
How would you choose to represent yourself in an artwork? What are the most distinguishing characteristics of your identity? How would you feature these in a painting, sculpture, multimedia, drama, or dance piece?
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Meghan Elizabeth Williams
Famous to Anonymous
From named and prominent to anonymous and everyday, portraiture has changed immensely.
Portraits can capture and reflect a variety of relationships as well as our solitary selves.
Internal and External Reality
Traditionally representative of people's status and accomplishments, portraits also go beyond staging to represent the darker side of our realities.