Wheaton Mahoney: The Forgotten and Nature’s Embrace
This week are featuring work seen at the Los Angeles Center of Photography Exposure Reviews.
How do we memorialize those who have come before us? Wheaton Mahoney has created a poignant typology of found portraits beautifully displayed in the natural world with her series, The Forgotten. Created over seven years, in all seasons, these portraits of portraits take on a particular character when juxtaposed with an aged tree or a bush in bloom. The work brings a certain humanity to these faces from the past. Mahoney expands her consideration of the natural world with her project, Leavescape, creating another typology of capes made of leaves that speak the the ethereal fragility of nature.
Wheaton Mahoney (b. 1970) is an American artist celebrated for her conceptual photographic series. Her intimate portraiture skillfully captures micro expressions in her subjects, while her still-life compositions delve into the poignant journey from youth to adulthood, creating portfolios that are rich with nuanced and bold layers. Mahoney is renowned for her adept use of color theory and layering techniques to evoke the passage of time and the preservation of life’s joys. Her work has been prominently featured in publications such as Medium Format Magazine and Click Pro Magazine, where she graced the cover. Mahoney has earned accolades from Phase One camera systems, Shutterbug Magazine, and Florida International Magazine’s “Top 50 Artists” several years in a row. She has also achieved Master’s Accreditation from The Portrait Masters and received The Mahlon Cline Award for Excellence. Her photography has garnered recognition and awards from prestigious publications such as PhotoDistrict News, RangeFinder Magazine, and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International. Her work has been exhibited at art fairs, galleries, and museums across the United States. Wheaton Mahoney, a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, is based in Western Massachusetts and Los Angeles, California.
“The Forgotten” is a captivating photographic series that unearths the mysterious world of abandoned portrait art collected over a six year period. Throughout history, portraiture has held a profound significance in immortalizing loved ones and those in power. Yet these portraits, acquired through auctions, had been discarded and forgotten, leaving the stories of the subjects and the journey of the canvases shrouded in mystery. The artist’s mission is to offer these subjects a final acknowledgment by hanging them on living trees, symbolizing the connection between earthly origins and their ultimate return as well as the metaphorical family tree. Captured over multiple years, the series reveals the passage of time through the changing of seasons while preserving the agelessness of the portraits. The artist’s titles offer yet another layer of character to each subject. “The Forgotten” aims to honor those who have come before us and have slipped into obscurity.
Leavescape: Nature’s Embrace
“Leavescape: Nature’s Embrace” is more than a visual composition; it is a call to action. It reminds us that the sheer beauty of nature is a gift to be cherished and protected. Through these capes worn by my son, I hope to ignite a deeper connection with the environment, fostering a collective resolve to preserve the wondrous world that inspires our artistic endeavors and a healthy future for generations to come.
Every leaf adorning these capes is a testament to the delicate intricacies and strength of Nature. The meticulous process of handcrafting each piece, with individually selected leaves sewn or glued to fabric, emphasizes the care and dedication required to protect our planet.
“Leavescape: Nature’s Embrace” is not just an artistic endeavor; it’s a poignant reminder that nature’s exquisite tapestry is a treasure worth safeguarding, and it calls upon us to be the vigilant stewards our world so desperately needs.
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