Title

Likeness: Empathy in Art

Abstract

Assembled together are the recent people of my life, a body of portraits that is, in the phrase of Alice Neel, "a collection of souls." This thesis serves to contextualize the work, as well as reflect the process by which it was made, as both an explanation of the portraits it contains and a portrait of myself as the artist who made them. The work is considered from the same viewpoints that humans are: as minds, bodies, and souls, and works to communicate the theme of empathy between humans through the act of painting on each of these levels.

Contemporary portraiture as a process for the cultivation of empathy is indebted most notably to the accomplishments of Alice Neel, and now enters a realm of interdisciplinary discourse. As such, my pictures may be "read" as performance, as therapy, as propaganda, and as narratives in or outside of the context of Art History. Further, my work rejects the "male gaze" and suggests a new kind of looking - gayze - which is an act of identification with and eroticization of the bodies I paint.

Gayze is a reciprocal exchange of power, vulnerability, and permission to look, in which men paint men as both desirous and desiring. Finally, the paintings are ritualistic, meditative pictures that reinforce the commonly held spiritual idea of connectedness and sameness between all things, echoed in the profoundly creative process of painting.

Notes

This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement. You may also contact the project coordinator Kerri Bottorff for more information.

Thesis Completion

2005

Degree

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

Art

Subjects

Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences; Portrait painting

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0021905

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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