Laura Christensen

I begin with a not-so-blank canvas. I begin with an old photographic portrait.

The photograph likely served as an important personal connection: This is my grandmother. There’s our son with that old cat, remember?

Like family and friends of the depicted, I pay extraordinary attention to each photograph, yet with a different eye.

By the time I find them, chains of personal connections have broken. The object-ness and formal qualities are easier to see. Subjects are freed to become characters cast and costumed, part of another story.

A photograph can trigger a new scenario for me. Other times, I am absorbed by a concept or experience, and search for pictures to explore my obsession. 

Working within the confines and possibilities of each photograph, I carefully plan, and then paint to cancel parts of images and conjure new illusions. I challenge my skills and apply my craft to create a seamless image, a combined object. 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 frames and cabinets serve as proscenium for their stage.

With images of moments past, I create new narratives, theatric, surreal, and mysterious.

Undercover detail cropped
Here’s what other people say about my work: TESTIMONIALS