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

Thursday, July 16, 2020


This 2016 painting entitled TZ in Profile by Jenny Dubnau appeared in the 2019 Outwin exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. The painting remains in collection of the artist.
True to Jenny Dubnau's straightforward approach, there is nothing glamorous or idealized about the way she portrays her friend. TZ is shown in profile, with slightly disheveled hair and an anxious expression, possibly in the midst of speaking. This informality lends a certain warmth to the portrait, which reads like a conversation between intimate friends. 
Although Dubnau draws on traditions of formal academic portraiture, she wants to capture “some... thing of the current zeitgeist of our time.” Her portraits, which have been described by critics as “unflinching,” bring the long history of portraiture into the contemporary moment. She wants them to “feel fresh, not backward looking. I aim for poetic strangeness and a certain discomfort.” -- NPG

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