Scott Neary, Wallpaper Portraits: Incorruptible, 2010, mixed media on wallpaper, 17.5 x 15 inches

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I think wallpaper is the perfect metaphor for human character. Hiding all

imperfections underneath, it presents its esthetic facade to the world.

Similarly, beneath the thin paper layer of our personae are flaws, strong

emotions, hidden resentments and even the hard, substantial material we call

inner self.

For this project, I created a series of mixed media portraits on wallpaper samples.

Portraying various psychological states on these sheets of wallpaper revealed

compelling relationships between figure and ground. The expressions and gestures of my figures mask darker impulses that are one layer closer to the core of their personality. Like old wallpaper, their social personae are in some disrepair, and the emotions have begun to trickle out.

Beneath these surfaces, there may be other layers hiding. They are like

wallpaper stripped from the wall of an old room, which, according to age,

reveals yet another pattern and another and another, discarded in accordance

with changing times.


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