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Drawing by John MacConnell: Betty White, available at Childs Gallery, Boston

John MacConnell

Betty White, 2020

From the Pictura in Pictura series. Pictura in Pictura is a play on words, with the latin root word for both picture and painting. We live in a world where we are bombarded with images. Billboards overtake landscapes, we decorate our coffee tables with books, social media supplies us with image after image, all neatly orgainzed in a grid. It has come to the point where the competition for our eye is so intense that images are overlapping to be in our line of sight. “Above the fold” is no longer good enough. It is important to be placed on top. It is a visual language that we’re all accustomed to and even rely on at this point. Sometimes, though, we are surprised how well that selfie looks juxtaposed with the photo of the beach sunset. It tells a story. Portraits don’t have to be a single image. We are conditioned to absorb multiple stimuli at once, more-so, we’re bored if we’re not. Why not make a portrait multiple images in one—sequential, like a comic book, or simultaneous like FaceTime?