In this extended series of paintings titled Prophilia, Ho Chi Minh City -based artist Richard Streitmatter-Tran looks to the mediated social world of profile images and considers their relation to the long tradition of portraiture painting. Using social media networks, he takes as profile images as initial references, now stripped of their meta information and contextual tagging in order to paint portraits that transform the subjects - and in many cases, returns an image of the final paintings to the original posters. Painting on an absorbent ground in watercolor and gouache on metal plates and woks, these ubiquitous items found throughout Vietnam often resembling reflecting mirrors. The artist searches for a connection between the immateriality of screen based lives with the material objects of everyday life. The title, Prophilia, is an invented word bringing together the words profile and -philia, the love of something.
Continuing a series of watercolor and gouache portraits painted on absorbent watercolor ground on various metal trays, dishes and woks that began with the 2018 solo exhibition, Prophilia, at SPRMRT's STPI location in Singapore, and then in the extended 2019 series with Vin Gallery at Art Philippines and Volta Basel 2019.
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Volta Basel 2019, Switzerland
June 10-15, 2019
Watercolor and gouache on metal plate with absorbent ground
27 cm diameter