Portraiture Now: Staging the Self

Interview with artist Rachelle Mozman, her works are part of our exhibition "Portraiture Now: Staging the Self" on display from August 22, 2014 through April 12, 2015 ( http://npg.si.edu/exhibit/staging/ ).  “Portraiture Now: Staging the Self” features the work of David Antonio Cruz, Carlee Fernandez, María Martínez-Cañas, Rachelle Mozman, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira, and Michael Vasquez, all artists of Latino background, who make us aware of how identities are constructed and negotiated via portraiture. Seeking to relieve portraiture of its charge to memorialize individuals and convey essential aspects of their identities, they use it instead to explore the ambiguities and changes in individual character. Theatricality is central to their inquiry, as they represent narratives remembered or imagined from their own family histories, or superimpose portraits of their loved ones over themselves, looking for what is shared or unique in individuality, searching like an actor for a character. As they present themselves in a staged manner, portraiture loses its aura of certainty, and becomes an evolving map for finding oneself and others.  In the last two decades, Rachelle Mozman has worked between her native New York and Panama, the country of her maternal family. Starting often from her own experience and family history, Mozman explores how culture shapes individuals and how environment affects behavior. She takes on these questions through multiple photographic series that conflate both documentary style and fictional narrative. Mozman’s photographs show servants and masters in their most intimate surroundings. They engage each other sparsely, if at all, playing off of established social roles. The common introspective look of Mozman’s lone characters suggests alienation—not what one would expect in a domestic setting. Mozman received an MFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows in the United States, Europe, and Central America. She is currently an artist-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Community Council.  --- Music:"Feel Good (Instrumental)" by Broke For FreeFrom Free Music ArchiveUsed via Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Licensehttp://freemusicarchive.org/music/Broke_For_Free/Petal/Broke_For_Free_-_Petal_-_08_Feel_Good__Instrumental_