Monotone Obscure.reveal - no border



Double-Plate Polymer Etching

280 x 380 mm

August 2015


“Whatever Photography grants to vision and whatever its manner, a photograph is always invisible:  it is not it that we see.”   .                                                                           Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes.                          

This is the first of a new body of work that aims to explore the unreal, or vague semblance of something; the partially obscured, inadequately seen or vague semblance of something; the superficial likeness.  In this print a powerful abstract swathe of ink threatens the image with invisibility and doing so adds potency to the impassive which the art of memory seems almost obsolete, having been outsourced to communications technology, through which perfect, high-resolution images and information are endlessly uploaded and reproduced. These contemporary methods of digital record-keeping let me to wonder what impact this would have on our perception of ourselves, and the loss of meaning on our sensibilities. And what affect the proliferation of so many perfect representations of the human face would have on the appreciation of old and unclear photographic souvenirs, and whether their very fragility by contrast would confer some mystery and power on these fragments.

This triggered a new direction in my practice and an exploration into the impact of partly obscured portraits.  Francis Bacon stated that his portraiture sought to “Deform into the Truth” and in a similar way these prints aim to reveal by obscuring the unique nature and moment when this image was fixed for all time.

A simulacrum is a representation or imitation of a person or thing. The word was first recorded in the English language in the late 16th century, used to describe a representation, such as a statue or a painting, especially of a god. By the late 19th century, it had gathered a secondary association of inferiority: an image without the substance or qualities of the original. Photorealism is an example of artistic simulacrum, where a painting is sometimes created by copying a photograph that is itself a copy of the real, as is trompe l’oeil, pop art and neo-realism.





Simulacrum III


Double-Plate Polymer Etching

294 x 400 mm

August 2015

Contemporary Simulacrum

The simulacrum is often defined as a copy with no original, or as Gilles Deleuze (1990) describes it, “the simulacrum is an image without resemblance”. Baudrillard argues that a simulacrum is not a copy of the real, but becomes truth in its own right, aka the hyper-real. He created four steps of reproduction:

(1) basic reflection of reality,

(2) perversion of reality;

(3) pretence of reality (where there is no model); and

(4) simulacrum, which “bears no relation to any reality whatsoever”.

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Just to let you know, the commission was a great success and both mum and dad loved the works. It turned out we had used one of dad's favourite pictures of mum, and wh...

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“In early 2008 I commissioned Sheila de Rosa to produce a limited edition of prints based on my art installation ‘Sandpaper Suit’. My requirements were unusual i...


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