Artwork / Swollen / Puberty

before and after portraits of puberty
Gwenn Seemel
Before and After: Puberty
2006 and 2007
acrylic on bird’s eye piqué
30 x 54 inches (combined dimensions)

Though I’d say I’m a woman, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the teenage angst and energy that this pair of portraits depicts. I just love the feeling of potential-ness, the curiosity, and the need to push boundaries that accompany adolescence and that’s part of why I adore painting teens, like the one pictured here as well as these guys, this girl, and the eldest of these three.

What follows is the text originally displayed with Before and after: Puberty. It describes the earth change that I chose as an analogy for this woman’s transition.

In the space of a brief moment, a mountain can explode with molten lava. The transition from dormant to active seems instantaneous, but, without the invisible days/months/years of pressure building, mountains can never become volcanoes.

painterly portrait
detail image
painterly portrait
detail image