Teresa Witz Iconic Unknowns Or The Faces

Wednesday 15 June – Monday 18 July
Open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

The Gallery


Iconic Unknowns

I created the term ‘iconic unknowns’ for the paintings “The Faces’ as a result of the reality TV programmes which created a new stream of overnight celebrities. These complete unknowns appearing on these programmes were thrown into the media circus and images of them suddenly appeared on the front pages of the tabloid papers. They became instant celebrities and new material for the creation of iconic images.

My interest in this immediate, but transient, iconic identity led me to study women on the London Underground, and Essex women in their local sports clubs and coffee houses.

This resulted in a set of paintings ‘The Faces’. The subjects were anonymous women whom I transformed into contemporary female icons in my paintings. I was focused on the direction of their gaze, a neutral expression, attempting to portray the women as confident and in control of the way in which their “image” is viewed.

The Faces

I have attempted to portray these women as independent and challenging rather than provocative. The paintings are not voyeuristic. My hope is that women, when viewing the paintings, will feel empowered.

The subject of the ‘The 4 Faces’ series, are simply anonymous women who I studied on the tube or in the gym and cafes and transformed into stylish and feminine modern icons.