The concept of representation of oneself is a topic that is constantly at the forefront of Regan Kinney’s mind. In this age of social media, representation has become a No. 1 priority for people. There exists a pressure to present yourself favorably to the world, and in terms of identity, the majority of the way we’re perceived is shaped by the images we post online. As a result of that pressure, it is rare to see an image that is unaltered, whether it be alteration of the body or of the supposed environment the body is in. Images and portraits are constantly altered in ways that are not always a true representation of ourselves.
The observed pressure on her peers of the representation of identity drove Kinney to her original desire to redefine modern portraiture by creating ink drawings of loved ones in her life. Through the use of simplistic ink pens, she wanted to render unaltered portraits that broke through the clutter of edited images, and through the intense observation of each person, she wanted to expose the subject’s true inner psyche.
Then the unexpected arose, and the world was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. Kinney observed how her friends and family were reacting to the uncharted waters they were abruptly thrown into. As she watched, she learned that everyone had their own unique reaction to the confusing time they were in.
Building off of her interest on the concept of representation, Kinney decided to create a series of portraits documenting the chronology of the human psyche throughout the pandemic. This was achieved through life-size ink renderings of individuals with whom she was quarantined. Kinney’s portraits are an emotional documentary of the confusion and isolation brought about throughout their time together. Even though the group of friends was quarantined together, there existed a further individualized isolation for each person in the group. Achieved through the act of drawing, Kinney is slowly describing through expressions in the subject’s face. Kinney’s intricate drawing process leads to a better understanding of what each subject is going through, ultimately revealing the inner psyche of each.