Marci Rae McDade

Region: Pacific Coast

These portraits of men are from my on-going series White Boys. Making them is a way for me to capture and harness my emotions, to quietly pine lest I speak up and make a fool of myself. Confident, charming, handsome, funny – each man possesses traits I desire. But my crushes go unspoken. Ultimately each piece functions as a precious, tangible ‘relic of my desire’.

The simple two color interactions are dictated by my subject’s favorite colors. I choose fabrics that remind me in some way of the man’s personality like corduroy or wool and then meticulously hand-stitch the line work. Each guy is a trusted friend as well as an active artist in my sphere of cultural influence. They have all inspired me, helped shape my understanding and appreciation for contemporary art similar to the ways in which I have been influenced by major historical figures such as Albrecht Durer, Agnolo Bronzino, Fairfield Porter and David Hockey.

My self-portrait, a life-sized image sewn on transparent fabric to cast a secondary figure of shadow, is an homage to the 1851 painting “Madame Motessier” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Ingres considered this lady, an influential member of French society and collector of art, to be one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen. He labored over her portrait for years, no doubt to extend the amount of time he could spend in her presence.