The Graduate Review




Artist's Statement:

Twenty-one is a composition portrait of a teenager. The technique employed includes printing the image on 5” x 7” aluminum flashing, using an inkjet transfer process. While investigating alternative printing processes, I learned of German artist Berit Myreboe’s hauntingly beautiful portraits that are manipulated transfer prints on aluminum, accented with paint. I emulated Myreboe’s work in using aluminum as a printing surface for my portraits, but I decided not to add paint to soften the images. I utilized aluminum as a printing surface to add depth to the work and to reinforce a sense of constant change as light plays across the reflective surface of the prints. The portrait is repeated to infer the imperfections of a developing teenager and to convey the myriad of emotions that lurk beneath the surface. The work is in reaction to my own children’s teenage development. The portraits are left raw, imperfect, and unfinished with the intent of evoking the changing and developing emotions of a teenager.


Mixed media
30 x 40 in.

Note on the Author

Melanie Gillis-Janssen is pursuing her Masters of Arts in Teaching Creative Arts. Her project will be completed in the spring of 2016 under the mentorship of Professor Rob Lorenson. She plans to pursue her CAGS in the fall of 2017.

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