Painting and the Imaginary Portrait
Janet Werner’s work has, for more than a decade, focused on the invention of fictional characters based on found images from popular culture. Her paintings operate within and against the conventional genre of portraiture; they are composite images that retain aspects of the original sources while embodying notions of transformation, innocence, and loss. For Werner, the process of painting is a way to investigate the iconic power of the portrait; she invokes imagination, memory, and projection to invest anonymous figures with specific identities. Werner will discuss her paintings in the context of the exhibition Another Perfect Day.