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These paintings use depictions of artists and their inspirations as a way to explore the nature of seeing. John Berger states in Ways of Seeing that when we look at the world, ‘we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves. Our vision is constantly active, moving, holding thing in a circle around itself.’’ The eye of the viewer is part of what makes us possible for us to put ourselves into these visions – we realise that if we can see, we can also be seen, and the view of the other is what makes it credible to us that we too are part of the visible world.
For an artist, their experience of seeing the world, both visually and through the world of ideas, can become tangible when they translate that vision into work. These paintings of artists aim to explore the idea that artists unavoidably situate themselves within their work.
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