Thinking of the Fayum Portraits
Luca, Cutlery. July, 2011
I am obsessed by the Egyptian Fayum portraits. It seems a morbid thing, to acknowledge a relationship between these funerary portraits and my work, which has always (duh) been of the living and loved. But I don’t see the Fayum paintings as being about or of death—they are vital, even as reproductions (which is all I have seen thus far), and perpetual. The gaze in these paintings passes through and beyond the renderer, even beyond the viewer. So much of my portrait work has strived to fulfill just this kind of timelessness and fusion of experience individuality, that it now feels impossible to not attend to the Fayum portraits. I’m on the lookout for books, and would welcome any recommendations. I am also hoping to visit collections and see the pieces first-hand.