Ariana Page Russell makes temporary tattoos out of photos of her own flushed skin to wear as a type of war paint, creating a veneer of protection out of vulnerability. In the artist's statement for her current show, Save Face, she says, "Living in a city with millions of people, I'm used to seeing a lot of faces in a day. They all blur together, but a few stand out. Some subtle interaction, a glance or expression, catches my attention and there's eye contact. These fleeting moments reveal something deeper than the persona. In Chinese language there are 98 different concepts of "face". They believe the face is a mask with incarnate spirit--a totem--and we are saving or losing it to stay members of society. In some American Indian cultures people use face paint to describe an emotion, augment one's appearance and power, or prepare for battle. To some degree we have control over how we portray ourselves and what's revealed, but we still leak emotions and aspects of our being. This makes us human."
Artist: Ariana Page Russell
Save Face runs through June 29, 2010 at Platform Gallery in Seattle.