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What Surrounded Her Smile pulls me in for closer viewing and suspends my response, as I can’t definitively establish if the piece is an ironic commentary of the stuff that surrounds us, or a pure expression of joy. The warmth of the piece generates a positive mood, and attitude towards the figure’s surroundings. But the small pieces that surround her closely cropped smiling face are indecipherable on this scale, beyond perhaps flowers, food, and household products. The central featuring of her jewelry also points the viewer towards consumption, or the accumulation of material goods. Looking back through your other works on the site, I was reminded of your enticing series Truth and Things I Made Up. This piece seems to underscore the tongue and cheek humor in that portrait series, and so I wasn’t surprised they were created in the same time frame when I checked the dates. The direct gaze of the subject is softened by her expression, but it also occurs to me, reluctantly, that I surround her smile.
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