Olivia Dean

Mount St. Joseph University

As one becomes older, the young, imaginative and creative brain is weakened and is inevitably replaced with reality. When creating, I become immersed in a new realm where reality doesn't exist.

Outside that realm are distractions that get thrown into our lives at an instant. When dealing with any situation, most look too much into the obvious and become oblivious to the diminutive, but significant elements that are right in front of us.

When doing portrait work, the fine details that are often overlooked are what make a face specific to one individual. Whether it's a scar on their forehead, or a slight gap between two teeth, the likeliness becomes apparent when these minute details are added in. In my work, I try and emulate this concept of oblivious interference by using neutral or abstracted backgrounds to draw the focus towards the intricately drawn or painted portraits that lie in the foreground.

With self-portraits, specifically, I control what people see; what features are emphasized, which ones are hidden and how I can mask underlying emotions. Throughout my backgrounds are a series of phrases and objects that blend in with their surroundings and only those who feel the need to play "hide and seek" discover their existence. The focused front distracts the audience from the background; the elements meant to stay veiled.

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