Ray DiCapua
The portrait titled Marie has been selected for inclusion in the
Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
The exhibition opens March 23, 2013

With this subject, Marie, I explore the inter-subjective qualities of our relationship, as well as objective and subjective aspects of her physicality and character. As her husband, I have a distinct vantage on the lifetime of experience comprised in her complex gaze. Yet making this drawing also challenged me to explore aspects of her that extend past my direct experience. Marie is a conflict specialist in the field of international development. Her accounts from volatile, struggling places in our world are embedded in the fragile interplay of recognition and charcoal marks.

Drawing begins with an interrogation of appearances, as Peter Berger once put it. Yet, looking inevitably gets entangled with interpretations. When I pay careful attention, I notice that many of the ways that I am drawn to interpret my personal and social world—as products of socialization—is at odds with my actual experience. I am interested in bringing this schism into view. To make specific features of our socially constructed world visible is to present opportunities for choice. I am interested in how images can inform and inspire self-reflective awareness and dialog about personal and cultural narratives, identities and worldviews. Through these large charcoal/ink drawings, I explore the interplay between interpretation, recognition, meaning and experience. I look to both evoke and disrupt possible patterns of interpretation. In so doing, I hope to jar awareness into noticing the constructed qualities of how we see, respond to and therefore create and recreate our world(s).