Sunday, October 17, 2010

Abraham Lincoln Portrait Series

Most works of art depicting Abraham Lincoln are realistic, whether the medium is paint, ink, or sculpture.  This was of course especially true with works done during his lifetime or in the immediate years after his death.  Now one can see the occasional abstract piece, the most famous of which is Salvador Dali's painting which only at a distance of 20 meters becomes a portrait of Lincoln.

I was contacted yesterday by a current "abstract" artist named Lola Dupre' who hails from Glasgow, Scotland, asking me if I would consider featuring her series of Lincoln original portraits here on the blog.  After a look at her work and her description of the pieces, I have decided I will do so.  Disclaimer: I am not being compensated in any way for featuring her works. 

Ms. Dupre' works mainly with paper and scissors, according to her website.  She takes images of the famous, including Lincoln, then distorts them in unique and unusual ways.  As she told me in her email, she enjoys working with images of the famous, who are already known to us and who have achieved some measure of fame.

Before you see her images below, please know that she in no way intends disrespect to Abraham Lincoln.  In fact, I made sure of that before I consented to feature her works in this forum.  She told me that the "abstractions in the features are in themselves meaningless. It is when associated with the emotional in the viewer, that interesting interpretations may be made."  After all, isn't that what "art" is all about?  Some people love works by Picasso, while others adore Gauguin.  Art does affect our emotions and means different things to different people.  Here is the first work of Lincoln from Ms. Dupre':

I admit that when I first saw the above image, I didn't much like it.  But when I re-read her descriptions of her art, and especially how the abstractions can mean different things to different people, I began to understand.  For example, this is a distortion of the famous portrait of Lincoln taken November 8, 1863.  That image is my personal favorite.  It shows his determination, his resolve, and strength.  It also is one of the first portraits which shows how the war was wearing him down. 

Artist Dupre's abstraction (and the others which follow below) speak to me about the numerous "directions" in which Lincoln was being pulled while president.  Abolitionists were angry that slavery had yet to be ended.  He had political rivals within his own party, and of course in his own cabinet.  The war weighed heavily on him.  His wife was most likely bi-polar.  He had lost two children by the time this portrait was taken.  He had yet to find a general who would consistently fight the enemy and fight it well.  Lincoln had so many issues affecting him, that he at times surely felt how these portraits by Ms. Dupre' depict him.

This final portrait in Ms. Dupre's series of five on Lincoln is my favorite one.  To me it appears that poor Mr. Lincoln's head has been placed in a vise.  He must have felt like it at times, if not all the time.

Unfortunately, none of these originals by Lola Dupre' are available as they have each been sold.  Perhaps I and the readers of The Abraham Lincoln Blog can encourage her to create more.  Please check her website for other unique and interesting pieces.  Please do NOT grab her images from the website without her express permission.  I had her permission to share these images in this post.  Respect her work and copyright.  And please do NOT grab these images from this blog, either. 

1 comment:

thevangelders.com said...

I have a series of postcards by s PA artist that only paints Lincoln.

 
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