Amy Whitman is best known for creating colorful, non-traditional portraiture. Through the use of a variety of materials, she produces works that go beyond the literal representation of the face or figure. She enjoys creating images that provoke an emotional response, from whimsy to melancholy, through the subject’s expression, pose or dress. Amy works with paint, markers and/or paper collage. Her colors are vibrant, complimenting the mood of the figure and adding to the overall tone of the piece. She feels kindred spirits in the works of Basquiat, Picasso, Klimt, Cindy Sherman and John Currin. Amy has a rich artistic background beyond painting and collage that includes mural work and calligraphy. Amy has exhibited her work in shows from the midwest to the east coast. In addition, her work can be viewed on her website, www.amywhitman.com Amy lives in Mountain Lakes, NJ with her husband and two feisty west highland terriers, Pete & Teddy.
“These unique portraits began with leftover paper scraps from a previous project. I made one and was so intrigued with the process that the collection kept growing. I begin each portrait by using photographs (some taken, some found) as a reference. I use a variety of papers that are torn, cut and molded and layer them piece-by-piece over an initial sketch. I build each face by affixing the paper to the canvas with a light acrylic varnish, which not only renders many of the papers transparent, but also allows the colors and texture of the papers to blend together. This part of the process is always the most fun as the wet paper begins to look and feel like layers of skin and the piece takes on sculptural qualities. To manipulate the wet papers, I use clay tools and surgical forceps. As the paper dries, the face can become almost mask-like. A solid, painted background highlights each portrait.”