Subtitled Film Stills

Subtitled Film Stills is a series of Hyperrealist renditions of both actual and fabricated film stills featuring close-ups of women and text. The series stems from my deep engagement with European cinema and the roles of women both on and off screen. The title of the series is a direct reference to Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills, and the images themselves are perhaps indirectly thematically reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s large scale appropriations of comics spotlighting women and text. I am taking what are seemingly kinetic moments in time—actions frozen from an unknown narrative—and re-contextualizing them in a new narrative which questions fact and fiction and creates a tension between reality and storytelling.

Drawn in a sharp-focus realistic manner with a single black pencil, the cinematographic images are brought back into the realm of the traditional arts—drawing, painting, that which is created by hand—the foundation on which photographic imagery has been built and is thus indebted. The drawings do not lose their identity either as drawings or as photographic images. Pencil grain becomes reminiscent of film grain, and a moment of time becomes transfixed into an instance of timelessness.

The presence of text—of dialogue—adds yet another layer to the “translation” of the images from film to paper. They are images that are meant to be read into on multiple levels and yet maintain a deliberate ambiguity, being divorced from the framework of a larger narrative and lacking a clear-cut stance or commentary from myself as their “creator.” Despite or in spite of the dozens of different idolized/idealized faces, what ultimately will arise from the repetition and multitude of the film stills is a singular portrait of the fabricated female persona, of an artifice whose authorship is rather questionably created.