Jean Roberts Guequierre, a Milwaukee based painter, taps historical references in her work, most often turning to the Early Netherlandish paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries. For this show, however, she has been looking at the work of an early Renaissance Italian artist, Giotto, and extracting faces from his frescoes to translate into her own portraits.
A second project at Portrait Society is a video installation by a group of students from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. With guidance from professor Jamal Currie, the students have designed a project that deals loosely with the ideas that Giotto considered in his work during the cultural shifts of the early Renaissance. At this time, the idea that sky and nature begin to re-appear within religious painting represented a new way of thinking about man’s position in the world.
The third gallery will host a show called Every Day. Thirteen artists/photographers were invited to shoot images during a single day of their lives. The intention was to escape intent, packaging and ambitions and seek out the mundane. Each artist has been given a two-foot wide by 10-foot high space to present the project. This exhibition also loosely addresses the issues that Giotto brought to image making in the 1400s as he re-staged religious stories down on earth, within real-life settings (rather than against gold-leaf backgrounds in the netherlands of a spiritual world). All of the images in this project will be for sale at 50 cents to $1 per inch.