Laura Christensen has developed a practice of painting on recovered vintage portraits. Also a woodworker, she constructs small shadow box frames and miniature cabinets to cradle the altered photographs.
She recently won her second Artists’ Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Grant, a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in support of her book project,THEN AGAIN: Vintage Photography Reimagined by One Artist and Thirty-One Writers .This unique anthology was successfully funded by hundreds of fantastic backers on Kickstarter and is available now!
Over the last couple decades, I’ve developed a technique for painting on vintage photographs salvaged from antiques stores, attics, and basements. These rediscovered studio portraits and snapshots are the basis of my art: both canvas and inspiration for my painting. By the time I find them, the original chains of personal connection have broken. Subjects are freed to become characters cast and costumed, players in another story that forms different bonds with new audiences.
I paint directly onto the surface of a photograph to cancel parts of images and conjure fresh illusions and metaphors. In doing so, I create seamless images that combines past and present, photograph and painting.
Apparitions of those who posed for a camera are still visible, but transformed, and performing fresh scenes of pathos and humor. Handcrafted cabinets serve as proscenium for their stage.