For nearly a decade, Danielle Festa has been exploring the ways we are perceived based on attire through her conceptual realist paintings incorporating tangible fabrics. Viewers are invited to experience the independent choices, the religious mandates and the social constructs that influence both what we wear and how we view others. In her latest show, she presents paintings of two types of ubiquitous photo references that define fashion trends: selfies and red carpet photos.
"The contradiction of everyday people posing on what is normally reserved for the fashion elite is part of what drew me to stage a red carpet shoot," says Festa. Each subject was asked how their outfit made them feel, and how they thought they were being perceived, and these descriptions resurface in the painting titles.
While the Somerville red carpet series gave her subjects the choice of participation and opportunity to pose, the "Selfie Series” gave them total control over the self-photographed imagery they submitted. Tapping into the widespread convenience of new technology, Festa was also able to cast a wider net and received selfies from subjects around the world.
"Ourselfies" is on display at the Washington Street gallery Saturdays in October from 12-4 PM at 321 Washington Street in Somerville, MA. The opening reception is Saturday, October 4 from 7-10 PM.