Amanda Gargac

Michigan | Acrylic

Artist Statement

Growing up as an identical twin, my personal view of self was skewed; we were usually referred to as “the twins” or “the girls” as it was easier than getting the two of us mixed up. As I entered adolescence, this lack of self and identity became prevalent, and I turned toward art to appease the longing for my own identity. Through my portraits, I aim to enthrall the viewer by using exaggerated color, secondary objects, and by intimately capturing every pore, scar, wrinkle, and blemish in utmost detail. Hyperrealism enhances my painting practice as it allows for intimacy and investigation between my work, the viewer, and the medium. I use these techniques to express societal, religious, cultural, and interpersonal factors of identity. As a portrait painter, my work aims to connect people in a way that is much more intimate than everyday interactions. I use my lived experiences of chronic mental and physical health conditions in my work as I often swing between ability and disability. Specifically focusing on the relationship between mental health and perception, I invite my audience to join this uncomfortable journey, experience empathy, and challenge the stereotypical depictions of mental health disorders.