FAM*LY OF HUMANS - Linda Louis
‘Fam*ly of Humans’ are ordinary people … male, female, old, young, dark-skinned or fair, curly-haired or smooth, gay, trans, non-binary, straight, ethnic and so on. My cast of characters, literally born of their own will, can be said to channel a collective conscious … a cross-section of humanity without derivation from any group or nationality.
‘Fam*ly of Humans’ project tacitly asks: “Can you view me with an open mind?” “Can you see me as a person who is breathing and has feelings perhaps similar to your own?”
"Can you view me with an open mind?”
Choose any example. She or he could be from another country; could be a billionaire, a doctor, a diplomat …… could be illiterate, could be homeless, could be a terrorist. You simply cannot know.
Choose another. She or he could be a United States Senator, a famous chef, your next-door neighbor or the someone you hired to walk your dog. You simply cannot know.
‘Fam*ly of Humans’ does not pretend to unravel the complexity of prejudice, but to illuminate with artful images, that identification, based upon physical characteristics, is impossible. Discrimination within the human family is damaging and hurtful to those against whom it is used as a weapon. It is pointless and absurd. We all share our Earth … we are one ‘Fam*ly of Humans’.
* NOTE: ‘Fam*ly of Humans’ does not include the letter ‘i’ … emphasizing that ‘WE’ are all family.
ARTIST LINDA LOUIS TELLS MORE ABOUT FAM*LY OF HUMANS:
My pen created 150 portraits over the course of nearly 2 years … in each case, the result is unbidden, unplanned, and always a surprise.
My objective is always meaningful contribution to artistic honesty. I do not wish to make ‘pretty’ pictures. Although I hope to engage my audience, I do not pay homage to trends. I take delight inventing new ways to achieve self-expression, to pursue a developing theme with integrity until its complete and utter conclusion is reached. I call my process brain dumping.
After two years, the conclusion of ‘Fam*ly of Humans’ has not been reached. 154 17” x 14” faces populate Fam*ly, yet there remains an unknown number of individuals yet to be acknowledged and realized. The series is a life-long escape into my subliminal world of inner space, an activity in which I have engaged many times during my art career … a result that transpires when I put pen to paper.
The work begins with a rangy line that swirls aimlessly around. This random line is clearly visible in almost all the portraits, as if to remind us of the mists from whence they arrive.
The process continues with the space between the eyes; this is the most complex point. Then the pen takes over, the seed of the work starts to germinate, initial marks are made, inertia is conquered, and confidence is forged with the knowledge that I can mold the result to my liking.
The inseparable unit of individual works of art in ‘Fam*ly of Humans’ is deliberately without personal identity. They gaze straight at you completely expressionless rendering you, the viewer, virtually incapable of discerning anything meaningful about them. If they were real people, they could then advance in life based upon personal merit and who they are, not what they look like.