Mary A. Waters — Œuvres récentes
Mary A. Waters
Past: September 13, 2012 → January 5, 2013
In her pictorial researches Mary A. Waters wonders about the notion of reproduction, in particular by the loan of portraits from masterpieces of the Golden century which she associates with a contemporary staging: desaturation of the colors, cinematographic centring, monochrome backgrounds… For her second exhibition at Galerie Pièce Unique, Mary A. Waters was interested in an elementary aspect and nevertheless complex of the reproduction: the reflection as the representation of one.
Flipping an image horizontally is a common and very easy thing to do as anybody who has used image editing software will know. Painting the same thing this is another story. It is nevertheless with this exercise that Mary A. Waters grappled to bring to light the subtle differences that exist between the object and its reflection but also between the mirrored image and the reproduced image. Because, as the artist underlines it, a mirror alters our perception and gives us a view totally different of an object or an image. This is a lot of the reason why we do not like photographs of ourselves, the image of our own face we are familiar with is a mirror image, so a photograph looks to us like an altered vision of ourselves (a bit like hearing your own voice on a tape). To try to paint the same face mirrored and have it look the exact same is impossible, because no face mirrored is the same unless it is absolutely symmetrical, which no human face is. A problem but interesting on a lot of levels, both visually and what it says about the difference between our image of ourselves and the actuality of ourselves. It also references the endless dreary obsession with physical perfection we are involved in at the moment when it is actually the asymmetry and imperfections of our faces that make us human and interesting.
“Mirrored Girl” exhibited at galerie Pièce Unique is thus a diptych of 2 oils on linen of 200 × 150 cm each where two faces face each other as separated by a mirror. The glances of each are however shot to the viewer, so inciting him to analyze the image, to perceive if it is about a reflection, to decipher the tiny differences, the imperceptible asymmetry which make that, contrary to a mechanical reproduction, a painted image is unique.