Portraiture is a genre defined as a graphic portrayal of a specific person during a state of time. Historically, it was a means to record the likeness of someone of great importance by showcasing their power, wealth, and tastes and emphasizing their virtue and beauty. In the modern age of social media, these attributes persist but are expressed in an alternate medium. While both styles succeed in producing a likeness, they stray from what portraiture should be, as the artists consistently fail to depict their models authentically. This discrepancy is central to Natasha's artistic practice. By combining the mediums of digital media and painting, she challenges traditional notions and mocks the modern understanding of portraiture to fabricate an accurate representation.
Natasha is showcasing part of her Unapologetically Authentic, series, where she focuses on displaying her model's personality, values, and spirit in her visual narrative. Natasha's technique involves capturing spontaneous photographs during significant events and is influenced by monumental photography. She utilizes dynamic poses to emphasize a carefree and childlike quality in contrast to the staged and serious poses typically found in portraits. Natasha then manipulates, distorts, and oversaturates her reference photos, forging creative alterations that better encapsulate the sitter's genuine essence and beauty. These alterations are akin to filters on social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. On apps, users typically alter their appearance to fabricate an idealized persona of themselves. Natasha's quality and application of paint are also an exaggerated reference to this superficial beautification, as she uses the style of imagery known as "Deep-Fried." Ultimately, these alterations offer a new insight into portraiture not seen in the historical or contemporary world. They invite viewers to delve into the nuanced dimensions of identity. Questioning the fashion of how we capture portraits and how we represent the essence of individuals in our visual narratives.
About the Artist
Natasha Beaudoin is a recent graduate from Queen's University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Art Honours with a focus on painting and printmaking. Her artwork can be described as an untraditional depiction of portraiture. As she depicts herself and her loved ones in a vibrant, and playful manner. Where she alters, skews, and rearranges the image to better encapsulate the memory of the event. Although the final images become a saturated imaginative depiction of reality, it is still oddly nostalgic, as it has a youthful and childish quality. At the current moment, Natasha is a resident artist at Visual Art Mississauga Riverwood facility, working towards becoming an established Canadian artist.