This series of family portraits were inspired by old black and white slides that were recently discovered and digitized. Most of these family members have since passed and my desire to paint them now is to memorialize a generation before memories completely fade away. Many of these paintings depict my relatives on the cusp of adulthood and I was amazed to see them so relaxed, glamorous and cocky. The family I grew up seemed to have little resemblance to these 1940’s images. My memories are of an insulated Russian Jewish immigrant clan that were desperate to assimilate and prosper, mistrusted outsiders and generally kept their heads down and their secrets intact.
This work was painted with acrylics on thrift store frames with surfaces ranging from glass, masonite, cardboard to canvas. The painted decorative frames are crucial to the paintings as they are conceived as symbolic altars to the figures. They seek to celebrate the figures by containing them with bright colors, patterns and repetition. My beloved elders and their way of life is quickly disappearing and this series is one daughters attempt to honor and treasure those who came before.