Posted on:November 29, 2012
Please join me for the opening recpetion for my The American Civil War series at the Jalopy Theater this Saturday night, December 1st at 7pm.
The Jalopy Theater is located at 315 Columbia Street Brooklyn, New York 11231.
The American Civil War is a series of fifteen 24” x 12” monochrome paintings of daguerreotype portraits from the Civil War era in American history.
The fifteen paintings in this series are not intended to be a representative sampling of the most important individuals from this time. I am no expert on Civil War history-- I was merely drawn to the imagery. I wanted to paint the faces from this era, and I didn’t want to be bogged down by the political implications of the actions of these figures. I wasn’t intending to paint people who were on the politically correct side of the Civil War, or even people who were directly involved in this war. I simply wanted to make paintings of Americans from this time in history. There is something about their expressions that is beyond complex; they look angry, sad, scared, and beaten down. They also look resolved.
The astounding Mathew Brady took pretty much every important portrait that is associated with this time, and with a few exceptions, most of the paintings in this series are based on his work. Daguerreotype photography from this time utilized glass plates instead of film, and cameras relied on long exposures to capture enough light to produce an image. A common notion at this time was that it was considered impolite to stare at a daguerreotype for too long, and that makes sense considering the sense of intimacy inherent in these images. The subjects had to stay completely still for long periods of time—unsmiling-- resulting in a portrait that is remarkably sharp yet ghost-like at the same time.
You can view the entire Civil War Series at my web site at www.ljlindhurst.com