A visual representation of Shakespeare's Sonnet 24
Sonnet 24 plays with double meanings and examines perception and illusion and truth, all using art and the artist as a metaphor. "Mine eye hath played the painter..."
This Portrait is a Lie
Shakespeare’s language creates layers: 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 a subjective, glazed version of the image — a reflection of himself.
Using a scanner and a camera, I manipulated 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 close examination, 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).