Untitled (Family Ties) | Oil on Archival Print Mounted to Panel | 80" x 60 " | 2016
Untitled (Norma Palius) | Oil on Archival Print Mounted to Panel | 24" x18" | 2014
Artist Statement: “Defacement is the confrontation with death and dislocation…”—Michael Taussig, Defacement
They say we die two deaths: the first is our actual passing; the second is when the last person who remembers us takes their final breath. Family photographs, vessels of memory, are integral to extending this quasi-life. They show a mother, a child, a past self, full of in-jokes and the mundane meaningful only to a select few. But divorced from their origins, these emotion-ridden images become unknowable and lost in translation, for they are intrinsically entwined with the intimate memories of someone. These images are timeless because photography can forever capture a moment—so much so that they have outlived their families and purpose, becoming orphans. As we drown in an overwhelming visual culture, what place does an old family photo have outside their original home?
In Forgetting is so long, I collect abandoned, anonymous family photographs, enlarge them past their familiar size, and paint over them. I paint to disrupt, to reimagine, to re-enliven these individuals until I can either no longer recognize them or their presence is too piercing to continue. Family photographs are sacred relics to their loved ones, but unmoored the images become hauntingly absent. Anthropologist Michael Taussig states that defacing these types of objects forces a “shock into being;” suddenly we perceive them as present, revered, and piercing. By mixing painting with photography, I lengthen Roland Barthes’ “moment of death” (the photograph) into some semblance of purgatory. Not alive but not quite dead, each person’s newly imagined and altered portrait straddles the lines between memory, identity, and death. They are monuments to the forgotten.
From Los Angeles, California, Daisy Patton’s practice is focused on history, memory, and social commentary. Her work explores the meaning and conventions of families, little discussed or hidden histories, and what it is to be a person living in our contemporary world. One such series is Forgetting is so long, reviewed in Art LTD and Hyperallergic, as well as featured in Create Magazine, The Jealous Curator, Vasari21, Fresh Paint Magazine, Backroom Caracas, and Artistic Moods.
Currently residing in Aurora, Colorado, Patton has a BFA in Studio Arts from the University of Oklahoma with minors in History and Art History and an Honors degree. Her MFA is from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University, a multi-disciplinary program. Patton received the Montague Travel Grant for research in Dresden, Germany, and she was also awarded a position as an exchange student at the University of Hertfordshire, UK while an undergraduate. Patton has completed artist residencies at RedLine Contemporary Arts Center in Denver, the Studios at MASS MoCA, the Eastside International in Los Angeles, and she will be an artist in residence at Anderson Ranch in fall 2017. Exhibiting in solo and group shows nationally, K Contemporary represents Patton in Denver.