Laraine Mestman - Painter


"Like old photographs, old memories can fade; they are more likely to stay fast in form but stay in color, in texture, in the feel of the space, the charge of the emotional atmosphere. LARAINE MESTMAN'S paintings based on family Polaroids and photos replicate these effects of memory. They capture not times and people past, but the way we in the present recall those times and people: vivid but soft-edged, strangely familiar, full of detail in detailless fields. We all have scrapbooks like Mestman's -- and were we asked to reconstruct them without looking at them, they would look much like this." - Peter Frank, Editor, VISIONS

ARTIST STATEMENT
Portraiture can be a photo-realistic image of the subject and also express the feelings of the painter toward his/her subject, where the mood, feeling and personality of the sitter are paramount to the exact replica of the sitter. One of the main objectives that I strive towards in my portraits is to "steal the spirit" of the subject of the painting. Portraiture is also used to record and document an individual in his/her lifetime and history. Items and subjects that are physically separate can be put together in a painting. Traditionally, the profession or status of a sitter was included in the painting, sometimes referring to religious artifacts and social status. A portrait is also a more manipulative medium than the cold observation of a photograph of the subject. I am able to present a portrait with my interpretation of their character.

Portraits also capture the past and hang onto a particular moment that revives specific memories. When I paint portraits of my children when they were younger, I am able to remember their personality and character, that has since developed and changed. I am able to “hang on” to the past of a person.

SELECTED BIOGRAPHY
EDUCATION 1978 Master of Fine Arts - University of California San Diego, La Jolla
1976/77 Regents Fellowship - University of California San Diego, La Jolla
1975 Bachelor of Arts - University of California San Diego, La Jolla

EXHIBITIONS
HANGAR GALLERY; MUSH GALLERY; PHARMAKA ; ORANGE COUNTY CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART; ROARK; LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL ART GALLERY; PASADENA MUSEUM OF HISTORY; LATINO ART MUSEUM ;HAMA ; ART TRIP TYCH; GRAFFEO'S ;MENDOCINO ART CENTER; PRINTED MATTER ; ANA 27; PORTRAITS; SAN DIEGO ART INSTITUTE 41st INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION; ABOUT FACE, Barnsdall Art Center; DOCTORS, LAWYERS, INDIAN CHIEFS, Tirage Art Gallery; PARKWAY GRILL; WITHIN THE WALLS, Tirage Art Gallery; TAKE A SEAT, Universal Studios Executive Dining Room ; DRAWINGS, Los Angeles Harbor College Art Gallery; DEPAYSER, ARTSPACE GALLERY; THE SECOND ANNUAL MINIPRINT EXHIBITION, Juniper Gallery/Napa Art Center; NORTH CAROLINA 10Th ANNUAL U.S. PRINT AND DRAWING EXHIBITION, Greenville Museum of Art, Noah Studios and Center/Gallery-Carrboro; juried by Eric Fischl; KANSAS TWELFTH NATIONAL SMALL PAINTING,DRAWING AND PRINT EXHIBITION, Fort Hays State; University; ARTIST'S BOOKS, New York; WOMEN'S SHOW - Community Arts Gallery, San Diego.

ARTICLES WRITTEN
1993 "Six Los Angeles Muralists at the Koplin Gallery", VISIONS, Art Quarterly; Fall issue
"Guy Dill at Turner/Krull", VISIONS, Art Quarterly, Spring Issue
1992 "The Burdensome White Man", review of Dominique Blain and Lawrence Gipe, VISIONS, Art Quarterly; Spring
1991 "Reinhard Voight at ANGLES", VISIONS, Art Quarterly, June Issue
1990 "Up-Close and Personal", review of Ilene Segalove's retrospective, VISIONS, Art Quarterly, December Issue