"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Friday, June 24, 2016


This 2013 sculpture (Polystyrene foam, balsa wood, felt, paper clay, paint, steel, and synthetic hair) of Marisol Escobar (May 22, 1930 – April 30, 2016) by Judith Shea stands in the National Portrait Gallery.
"One of the foremost artists in postwar America, Marisol was born Maria Sol Escobar to Venezuelan parents and studied art in New York City in the early 1950s. By the early 1960s, she had become part of the contemporary art scene, achieving critical success with sculptures that drew upon traditions ranging from pre-Columbian to American folk art, as well as surrealism reinterpreted in a decidedly pop-art style. Her techniques and materials were equally eclectic, including carved wood and stone, plaster and metal casts, neon lights, and assembled found objects such as Coca-Cola bottles and televisions. Infusing her work with her own fondness for satiric whimsy, her individual and group figures offered commentaries on contemporary life. Among her most notable portraits are her droll, toylike renderings of public figures, including Lyndon Johnson and Hugh Hefner.

Marisol's sculptures first inspired Judith Shea when she was a student in the 1960s. This portrait is part of Shea's recent series honoring women artists." -- National Portrait Gallery

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