Rachel Kremidas, raised in Indianapolis, received her BFA from Indiana University in 2009. Following this, she moved to New York, where she has lived and worked since. She completed her MA in clinical art therapy in 2020, which informs the psychodynamic principles explored in her artwork. She has been an artist in residence in Draw International, Akumal Artist Residency, and the In Rivers Gallery. She was the recipient of the Harry Engle Scholarship in Painting, Pygmalion Award, and runner-up for the Happy Artist Prize. Additionally, she has curated fundraising gallery events that have raised money for the ACLU, NYAAF, and the National Center for Transgender Equality. Kremidas has exhibited in New York as well as internationally, including France and Mexico.
These portraits offer a visualization of interpersonal boundaries via the concept of gaze. These masks, shown through self-portrait photography, indicate the impact of external perspectives on one’s internal sense of self. Displaced facial features can clarify or convolute what lies beneath. As a woman and an artist, I become either vulnerable or empowered by the gaze of the audience. The difficult process of taking blind portraits from underneath these masks adds a performative aspect to the creative process, and becomes a poetic expression of self-development. Meanwhile, the sculpted eyes meet the audience with their gaze, creating an interactive experience with these portraits.
What does “Gaze” mean to you & how do you connect it to your work?
Gaze, in the context of these works, represents how psychological spaces converge. When I am seen, I must consider the environmental and cultural factors in that seeing, and then how those factors have impacted my vision of myself. Therefore, seeing becomes an act of introspection and development. This is true as a human and an artist; vision can be considered as a spatial interaction.
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