ABOUT THE WORK
I work in portraiture because I’m fascinated by the power of great portraits to express self and identity with resonance and wonder. My portraits are experiential because the visitor is not a passive beholder but an active participant having a physical and psychological experience with the artwork. Visitor interactivity with these portraits is the essence of this art experience to explore new content and meaning beyond the boundaries of a visual portrayal.
These experiential portraits integrate multiple sensory materials and devices formulated to fit the subject to produce sound, action, and touch that reflect upon their life and identity. A critical element is the satisfying touch of some part of it, as for example touching art materials, using visitor costumes, having takeaway leaves and paper handouts. Also critical is the visitor’s action, as for example in following paths, in using sound-makng devices, in mark-making, and in smelling aromas. A portrait created by engaging multple senses can present multiple meanngs in new artistic ways about the portrait subject.
All these actions and sensory impressions start to move the visitor into a different, more intimate relationship with the portrait and deepen the contemplation of the subject.
In the portfolio there are also group participatory pieces as part of a social art practice. These are moments of portraiture where visitors engage and activate the piece through their performance and together embody portrait subject.
Experiential art is a currently trending art form exhibited in a variety of mediums but the content is mostly computer-driven video and audio with minimal or no actual participation of the audience. My art is intended to use the multi-sensory art experience to more fully enagage the participation of the audience in order to advance art and portraiture into new dimensions.
D.D. Cain wll have a solo art show at the Public Wonder Gallery 1895 Union St. San Francisco, CA. July1-29, 2023