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Pepperdine | Seaver College

Senior Art Exhibit 2003: Jessie Abrams

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Childhood Building Block Series

This series takes a lighthearted and youthful approach to self-portraiture. The use of my childhood building blocks brings a sense of preciousness and nostalgia. The most basic function of the blocks: to construct, leads to unique arrangements and interesting juxtaposition of the painted eyeballs, earlobes and other features. The blocks become the perfect media to capture more than just the outside image of the self-portrait, but give insight to the depth and interplay of expressions and thoughts. The paintings become sculpture as they are stacked so as to create different planes. In turn they invade the viewer's space, growing outward and across the wall.

I have combined the painterly portraits with playful and colorful doodles. Their abstract and almost nonsensical nature represents daydreams, creativity, and fleeting thoughts. These blocks are detailed with the delicate use of glitter and gold filaments, adding to the preciousness of my treasured blocks.

The creation of this series of self-portraits causes me to recall those memories that illustrate my self. A mixture of emotions, physical features and significant experiences are portrayed in the series. My first year in college I could always be seen with a flower tucked behind my ear, and when I was eight, I cried because I found out the truth about Santa Claus. These blocks now have my own visual imprint on their surface, allowing the viewer to experience what I have chosen to express through oil paint and mixed media.

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