Austin Riggle

Wittenberg University

As an artist- I strive to facilitate interactions between my work and the viewer. These connections are more clear in my portraiture and how I frame and display my pieces. In my body of work- I am tightly photographing my subjects and printing slightly larger than life size so that the viewers are forced to come face to face with the subject in an intimate setting. Part of my inpiration comes from the very detailed portraits by Chuck Close. My hope is that by displaying larger prints- I will then create an overwhelming sense of presence in the space to better illustrate my purpose with my thesis.

The goal of my work is to challenge the viewers on the societal norm of superficial labeling that is fed by the media rich culture that we live in. I am focusing on the LGBT* community due to my relationship with them and their current and strong presence in mass media.

I am hoping to educate and show what a beautifully diverse community the LGBT* community is and that we are more than our sexuality and that we are so much more than standard stereotypes that have been broadcast to eager consumers. By allowing the viewers to interact with the pieces by trying to label them and to attemt to find a common thread between the models, they will become more aware of the labeling that we all do everyday without thinking twice about it.

Thank you.

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