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Seeing Numbers: The Process

When I begin a people painting, my goal is to show relevance of a current statistic in our society through color. I’m never sure where the color palette will go but rather let tones build as I work. Victims are generally painted in high contrast to the rest of the painting.

Because paintings are based on data that changes, I site the date the painting was created. For the current domestic violence paintings, I used the Center for Disease Control’s data sourced 2019-2020. These are large acrylic works on canvas. I count the figures as I paint them in groups of 50 and keep track of the totals as I go. Generally, the paintings range in totals from 5,000 to 12,000 people.

As the painting builds, I shift painting figures who are not victims against a high contrast color representing victims who are.

For example, the above is a one in four painting based on data that one in four women are victims of intimate partner violence. The dark blue figures in the center represent the victims.

This series is actively growing. Stay tuned for more and drop me a line to let me know what you think.

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