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Ian Ingram Showcases His Newest Body of Work at Barry Friedman
Ian Ingram (American, b. 1974), "The Wedding Quilt", 2008. Charcoal, pastel, beeswax and beads on paper, 60 x 44 inches (152.4 x 111.8 cm). Photo: Courtesy Barry Friedman Ltd.

NEW YORK, NY.- Barry Friedman Ltd. presents, "Self Portraits: The New York Debut of Contemporary Artist Ian Ingram showcasing his newest body of work. Having made a self-portrait every year since he was 16, Ingram has spent the past 2 ½ years working solely on this highly anticipated series of large-scale self-portrait drawings. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue with feature essay by art critic, writer, and former art dealer, Garth Clark, and published by Barry Friedman Ltd.

Ian Ingram’s work is often about moments of transition, points in life where change occurs. His self-portraits are autobiographical reflections of meaningful events, such as his wedding, or the birth of his child. Ian describes these emotional moments as “times when a decision or an action changes your entire worldview. The image is of leaving one world and pushing through to another.” His hyper-realistic and intensely emotional self-portraits arrest the viewer with a direct gaze that can at times seem almost uncomfortably intimate. Art critic Kristin Barendsen states, “viewing these intense self-portraits isn’t like looking at another person-its like being another person looking in the mirror, searching for meaning inside your own brilliant eyes.” Drawings are often considered the most direct connection between an artist and his ideas, and Ian’s self-portraits are no exception. Beyond serving as a vehicle to relay his feelings to the outside world, Ian’s drawings become unflinching windows into his subconscious, and serve as a tool for his own self-reflection and rumination.

The tightly rendered canvases of Ian Ingram’s works are all realistic and dreamlike, but viewing this body of work together makes clear the unique creative growth Ian has had over the past 2 ½ years. What was once a strong reliance on the dramatic contrast of light and dark, and line to render form, has become the use of cross contours, grids, and blending to build the subtleties, nuances, and porous surfaces of the human face. Working with a base of charcoal, pastel, ink, and watercolor, Ingram has also begun incorporating more unconventional materials into his work, such as beads, beeswax, metallic thread, silver leaf, string, and even butterfly wings. By embracing new organic patterns and mediums, Ingram alters his artistic process and reinvents his creative product.

Ian Ingram was born in 1974 in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and currently lives and works in Austin, Texas.

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