The genesis for this series was the Chuck Close catalog, that Keyes photographed in 1998 for the widely applauded Collective Memory series. With this image, multiple exposures resulted in two portraits that represented Close’s body of work. Keyes now continues this focus on portraits made by other artists and documentarians.
Sourcing images from books and the internet, and often inspired by portraits experienced in person, Keyes selects images that collectively create an overall representation of each artist’s portraiture work. The resulting photographs reshape the work of such iconic names as Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Martin Schoeller and Frida Kahlo. At times, his work conjures up more than the purely visual, such as with Nick Cave (2014), which pierces the viewer with a cacophony of suggested sound and movement, gloriously melded together.
Beyond the subject of the portrait itself, Keyes is most interested in the cognitive impression left after seeing the work. Keyes’ work proposes that the brain creates collections of layered images over time, not individual snapshots of moments like a camera. When we think of a person it’s not a static, flat impression. We live in time and space, always moving, always inputting new data. And this data is never objective, it’s not a collection of precisely copied information; it’s as imperfect as our memory.
This series continues the artist's sophisticated use of multiple exposure; an artistic paradigm that he has steadfastly cultivated over the course of some twenty years. Keyes is a perceptive, quietly intelligent fine artist, whose transformative artworks exhibit a confident authorship, are conceptually rigorous and present an accomplished and well-defined aesthetic.
Signature: Signed, titled, and numbered on verso.
Image rights: Doug Keyes
Klompching Gallery, March 5 - April 11, 2015.
Direct from the Artist.