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Comment by Resident Curator on June 17, 2011 at 10:04pm
Now I'm even more intrigued by these works, knowing they were created digitally.  Thank you for the enlightenment.
Comment by John Bavaro on June 17, 2011 at 8:46pm

Thanks for the comments. I'm sorry, but I didn't see it initially. Somehow it got buried in my e-mail inbox These works were all created on the Apple iPhone (or most recently on the iPad). Many are exclusively digital, and others are transferred onto actual weathered surfaces. If you would like to see my process, it's here at this Youtube video-approximately 10 minutes. John Bavaro-The iPhone Fayum Portraits

   As for the sideways glance..the look deep into the middle distance, I think this is an important part of the Fayum portraits that I've tried to capture. Of course, one could never "re-create" them, because they have a history that was not conscious even of art, it seems, but more of their function of creating a likeness of the dead (while living?).....that is disputed. But it's so intriguing to me, the aspect that they were not "art" per se. They were funerary, functional, and meant to be buried away for eternity. Now THAT is powerful to me. The artists seemed to have at stake the want/need to facilitate the proper burial process in much the same way that the priests who prepared the bodies did. 

   I questioned at first whether or not to put Roman costuming on my subjects, but having tried both modern costuming and Roman costuming, the latter seemed more appropriate. Anyway, I've also thought about rendering them in encaustic, and I may do that yet, but right now, having them be created on the Apple iPhone or iPad seems to provide a meta-commentary. 

    Thanks so much for "stopping in". I haven't been very active on the network, but I'm just getting into it a bit more. 

Comment by Resident Curator on June 6, 2011 at 10:32am

Curator’s Comment:


Admittedly, I have a soft spot for fayum portraits.  But I’m not sure if this is encaustic?  Nevertheless the straightforward portrayal of the face against the rough board provides a historical relationship, and impression of timelessness.  The radiance of the slightly side glancing eyes is particularly striking; adding a glimmer of life to what are traditionally stoic depictions.  While very realistically and expertly rendered, the wisps of hair with golden light emanating from behind the subject bestows a supernatural halo or aura.  Devoid of adornment such as jewelry, or inclusion of clothing, it becomes difficult to date the portrait.  But I also like the smudged coloration that obscures several of the portraits on your Bavaro Dubai poster.  Because of the abstraction, they are obviously more contemporary, but still construct a dialogue with the past.  The effect is quite poignant.  Reminding us of the fayum mummy panels, viewers are cognizant of the transitory existence of individuals and the endurance of art to transmit through the ages.  Thank you for sharing this work.

Resident Curator Views

Ms Kristen T. Woodward critiques of members art.


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