In this series entitled “_after”, historical portraits, ranging from 1460 up to 1907, are integrated with contemporary subjects to create a series of double portraits. Each is staged and painted in the manner of the original source with the inclusion of a contemporary model who bears an uncanny resemblance to the original sitter. My models are all interacting with their electronic devices but are not necessarily “intentionally disengaged” as was the case in my previous series “e.strange”. During the evolution of this series, the live model began to assume a more active role which offered a more theatrical presentation and greater possibilities for an underlying narrative. Stylistically the paintings are mostly inspired by European society portraits, which, like the modern Facebook page, often present an idealized version of the individual. I wish to comment on the differences in lifestyle over the centuries despite the enduring similarities in genetics.
By Laara Cassells