Artist Statement: I first started this series of paintings wanting to study faces, color, and paint. These initial paintings, valuable as exercises in color and skin tone, revealed that I had no connection to these portraits in any way, they were just shapes that were suggestive of eyes, nose, and a mouth. What would happen to the paintings if I knew the subject? I then began to capture the faces of familiar faces in addition to those of strangers. Since I was little I would study people’s faces when I met them almost as if drawing their faces in my mind. I did not realize I even did that for a while but, it is indicative of the importance of expression and how it may impact my perception of that individual. I am using color to look past what lies on the surface of real-life and the face. Color does not have to reflect the actual skin tone but rather it should reflect the warmth that person exudes or the darkness they are feeling in a time of need. The way I looked at my subjects during this time of social isolation changed. I could no longer adjust their pose and take their picture in the specific lighting I wanted myself. I had to give some instructions over text describing how to pose and what kind of lighting to be in. I thought this would make the process harder, but it turned out to work better than I thought it would. People were happy to be involved in something creative during this pandemic and I was happy to connect with my friends in this way.
Artist Bio: Emily Pinto is a senior Art History Major and Studio Minor at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Emily is from and currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida. In the spring of 2019, Emily studied Art Conservation in Rome, where she recreated a fresco based on “Lady with an Ermine” by Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci. After she returned from her studies, Emily began working on painted portraits of friends, family, and strangers. To further develop her interest in public art and community engagement, Emily interned with the Chapman Cultural Arts Center in the fall of 2019 where she assisted with outreach programming. More recently, Emily’s painting, “Self Portrait” is currently featured in “Self Portrait Exhibition” an online exhibition hosted by Serving the People which features work by national and international artists. Emily currently has work in a private collection in Houston, Texas.