The connection between you and the portrait is a personal one. What is a portrait, after all, but a story of another, guided through interpretation. It represents an ideal that the power of portraiture in a gifted artist’s hand can impose constraint on a moment of fragility. The magic is that, real or imagined, the subject of the portrait is the real author of the story, yet perhaps not of their faces.

"Portrait" at Paradigm Gallery will explore how 5 different artists chose to define their subjects. Jason Andrew Turner’s drawn faces will gaze directly at you – defiantly inviting you in; while Jean-Paul Mallozzi's distinct portraits haunt and hide behind their psyches. Lauren Rinaldi’s sketches are delicate and subtle searches into her subjects’ vulnerability. Jason Chen’s photographs capture decisive moments that trail off into larger stories. And Buddy Nestor’s eerie portrayals seem to dissolve the essence of the subject into a surreal side of their humanity.

We spend so much time studying the portrait -- locking eyes, visually reaching for some shared connection to this emotionally charged version of a person. Yet, the artist search to capture the essence of that moment traps us in a complicated game of altered perceptions – people as they wish to be seen versus how they are seen.

This band of storytellers know how to penetrate to the core of their subjects. But there’s still something vaguely lonesome about an image needing a viewer to tell its story to - this need we have to preserve in preparation of an absence.

Perhaps the beauty of it, this fascination with a most basic artistic form of communication, is that we are always searching for the soul of it – for the rest of the story – and we hope that gives permanence to these moments of truth.