Dimensions: 30 x 22″
Media: gouache on Fabriano paper
This series of works by artist Monica Lundy grew out of her MFA thesis project at Mills College based on thousands of mug shots from the late 1800s into the 1930s. These images are female inmates at the Stockton, California State Mental Hospital and San Quentin State Prison.
These gouache on paper works are rendered in subdued, monotonal color palettes and display a mastery of tonal quality as well as application control. Lundy avoids bleakness by finding the resilience and beauty in each troubled countenance. The portraiture, rendered in this way, asks us to question and reevaluate the treatment of all incarcerated and otherwise disenfranchised peoples.