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HUB Director's Art Award Ribbon PicHUB Director’s Art Award Recipient

Artist/s: Ali Sykes

Description: I focus on themes of identity and existence in the world through exploring an alternative approach to portraiture. Unconcerned with name or status, but rather time and experience in a single moment, this piece exposes complex infinity in the mundanity. Through constant and continuous questioning of identity, this work examines what it means to be alive in a society of social fragmentation and digital gratification.

My artistic process accompanies me as I think about an alternate approach to portraiture. As I ask new questions, I want to be constantly creating, so that my body of work reflects my mental process of self-discovery over time. I am thinking about how my definition of portraiture as a genre extends beyond simply paintings of faces. I am not concerned primarily with who these people are by name, status, etc., but rather, I am concerned with capturing time and experience in a single image. By this definition, portraiture is a thumbprint, a voicemail, even the sound of a heartbeat.

Sometimes I would take a series of photos and choose the one I liked the least to be my reference for a painting. I wanted to create beauty in what I found to be the true mundanity of life. This caused me to question my idea of beauty, and realize that there is beauty in even the mundanity of life; I was not creating it, but rather highlighting it—showing it in a new light.

Composition/materials: Acrylic on Wood

Year: 2022