Eric Welch

\\\"Not Forgotten (self portrait)\\\"

Like many, my path through life has been very flexuous. Growing up in a blue-collar family in rural Kentucky meant adopting an attitude of blood, sweat and tears. The only way to handle the painful day in and day out routine is to put your head down and do the work. This is why I started selling cannabis at 19 years old and thus how I ended up in prison by 24. My current work utilizes mugshots printed on paper in black and white laid on top of bright, painted colors. As I began the process of mixing paper and paint on canvas, I wasn’t satisfied with the results I was getting. Instead, I took on the meticulous process of using gel medium on the front of the printed image and water on the back to peel the paper off piece by piece, leaving behind a thin semi-transparent trace of the image. The process of peeling to me is akin to spray painting a mural – it’s laborious. This connection of labor to progress is in line with my upbringing. It was my hard work that got me out of Kentucky, that got me through my time in prison, into debuting and starring in the autobiography of my life at the New York Fringe festival, and into my position as a small business owner today. My own mugshot was the first of this series of works. I use these portraits and mugshots to connect the viewer with the presence of the person in the image, whether they know them or not, like them or not. Either way, they can stand in front of this image and be face to face with another person, confront them, or

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  • \\\\\\"Evolving\\\\\\" is a 30ft wide 9ft tall mural.

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