We are now rounding out the fourth month of the Covid-19 pandemic, a worldwide catastrophe that, as of now, shows no signs of fully abating, especially in the United States and a few other countries that have been slow to realize the serious need of playing it safe. How does this affect artists? More time in the studio can be a good thing, but the general zeitgeist of fear and sadness can also creep into the work. A lucky few are trying to put the best spin possible on the situation. I had hoped this would be the last installment of this post, but now I’m not so sure….
Fran Beallor: When I started my “Self-Portrait-a-Day-2020” series, I had no idea what I would be in for in this time of global pandemic and social distancing. This is the fourth time I am doing a year of daily self-portraits (the earlier series were done in 1980, 2000 and 2010). My feelings, observations, and realizations are all coming through loud and clear in the works. These four, out of the 140-plus drawings I have made so far, were done as I began to realize that we would not be able to continue our lives as they were before. Series began to emerge within my series: the “Box” series about feeling trapped, constrained and boxed in (plus reflecting on how boxes have become a lifeline to the outside world); the “Expressions” series, exploring my feelings but also reflecting on the feelings of those around me, as I cycle through anger, sadness, disbelief, fear, denial and acceptance; the “Shadow” series, about our effect on the world and on each other; and of course the “Mask” series, addressing the need to hide our faces, and thinking about the many ways we do that.