This is a visual representation of Shakespeare's Sonnet 24 ("Mine eye hath played the painter..."). Sonnet 24 plays with double meanings and examines perception and illusion and truth, all using art and the artist as a metaphor.
Portrait as a Lie
I love the layers Shakespeare’s language creates: windows within windows, eyes within eyes. The speaker describes himself as a frame for, and a painter of, the image of his lover, but in “picturing” his lover, he has created an illusion. His eyes can only paint his own subjective, “glazed” version of the image — a reflection of himself.
I used a scanner and a camera to manipulate the appearance of the sonnet’s text to reflect its content: layers of visual distortion of words about layers of visual distortion.
I printed the photographs on tiny, translucent, white-framed squares, borrowing the idea of framing from the language of the sonnet. I chose the scale to invite the viewer to look closely, and printed on translucent vellum to invite the viewer to manipulate the squares and continue the iterative process of visual layering that I used to create these images (and that Shakespeare used to create the imagery).