180 Portraits Represent the Faces of a Small Town


Portrait of Maquoketa–The Dimensional View is a community project, by artist Rose Frantzen, that celebrates the artist’s hometown of Maquoketa, Iowa. Across the span of one year, Frantzen painted a collection of 180 12×12″ portraits of anyone who wanted to pose for her, including many of her friends and neighbors. She was not exclusive in the process, and says, “I wanted to paint my neighbors and fellow Maquoketans without any selection or choice on my part, attempting to capture a direct portrayal of the people around me.”

After completing the portrait project, Frantzen went on to paint a 315 square foot scenic oil painting of Maquoketa, and combined that painting with the portraits, which collectively form the Portrait of Maquoketa installation. The unique presentation includes the landscape spread across 34 vertical panels, which hang from the ceiling. When standing in the right spot, viewers can see the completed painting as a unified whole. On the back side of each panel are the portrait paintings, a representation of all who live in the town. Additionally, Frantzen pairs the installation with sounds of the landscape and audio clips of those who posed for her.

The installation traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2010, and is currently showing at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, through January 2013.




Rose Frantzen at Old City Hall Gallery
Figge Art Museum website
via [Farewell Kingdom]





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