There is something infinitely satisfying about resurrecting faces from the past. Out of all the art I create, this touches me in a way that no other art form can.
To work with the face of a person long dead gone in a photo, is almost like time travel. I am both transported back to the world of that face, while at the same time I am grasping that persons spirit and tugging it gently into the future.
It is the goal of most artists I think, to evoke emotion in those that view their art. But I think what is equally important is evoking emotion within the artist while the art is created. That piece of art cannot but help be changed by those emotions.
When I first began creating surreal portraits from very old photos, I was afraid it would be a violation to the person. But I quickly shifted my thoughts on this when I considered how I would feel if someone in the future took an old photo of me and created new art from it. Would I be upset? Was I upset? No, I was actually a little disappointed that I would never see it.
I know all of this is very ephemeral. What I create, what others may create is but a moment in time. If these spirits can be resurrected for even a moment of time, then its worth it.
Only the dead can judge
In 2021, at an estate sale, I came across a box filled with over 100 tintype photos from 1800's. These were all taken in New Orleans. I knew immediately that I needed to create a series of new art from these very old photos. While I am sure I'll add others in the future. The resurrection series begins with these portraits. I've posted both the original photo and the final surreal portrait.