In loving memory of my mother Leslie Van Dussen
My Mother: Leslie Van Dussen, Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Grace Kelly are rendered in black and white to illustrate a departed nature within each of these women. Each of their facial expressions convey a sense of dissatisfaction either within themselves or with the world in which they exist in. Their discontentment derives from their current situation where they find themselves trapped in a place that is incapable of giving them fulfillment in their lives. The color in the eyes reflect their inability to consciously exist in reality since what each of them see is only what they desire to see... A world of color with no imperfections. The colorful orbs represent these idealistic worlds they've created for themselves, which further portrays their removal from reality.
When confronted with a loss: losing a loved one due to a death or a failed relationship, one must learn how to survive again but ultimately alone. Relating to my personal experience, it took losing the person that I loved most for me to realize that I had a fortunate life prior to my Mother's death simply because I had more than I could have asked for; I had someone to love and someone who loved me back unconditionally. I dwelled on trivial problems that were no where in comparison to how much my Mother meant to me. I wasted too much time living in the past rather than living in the moment while my Mother was still here. It was too late before I could make up for the time that was lost and so I've been left with this irremediable grief and burning desire to fix things that I cannot possibly change since death is irreversible. Referring to Friedrich Nietzsche’s “the will,” which he explains is the source of suffering that only brings further desire but never contentment, these portraits reflect a similar notion that we will never be fully satisfied since we often overlook the things that truly matter. In most cases, we already have what we could possibly ever need, but our discontentment become distractions causing us to lose sight of the important things that are usually right in front of us.