One of the more humbling and inspiring artist lectures I've seen while here at UNR! Zoe Bray's empathetic intentions and altruistic beliefs as an artist are definitely something worth everyone's consideration...they fall much in line with the concepts expressed in the text we were introduced to last semester, The Re-enchantment of Art by Suzi Gablik. What I appreciate most about Zoe Bray's work is her interest in the personality and demeanor of individual in she is representing, which is an interest that takes precedence over her concern for the quality or look of her final painting. In other words, although she is obviously technically skilled at painting, she expresses less concern for her mastery and more concern for appropriately representing the inner personalities of her subjects through portraiture.
She spoke of the intimacy experienced between her and her subjects (resulting in the tile of her exhibiton: Intimacy), which results from her own personal interest in anthropology and ethnography, as well as from the time spent with her subjects while she paints them. I appreciated seeing a show of portraiture in the Sheppard Contemporary, as I believe portraiture is overlooked in art and not as currently appreciated as it should be, stemming from the belief that it may be an age-old, worn-out genre in art. Yet, facial expressions and body language are a language we all speak (in the words of my teacher Clayton Keyes), and it is, and always will be, a valid and hopefully limitless genre in art.
Questions for Zoe would be, How do you choose your subjects? and What's next?