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“Photographer Barbara Cole’s latest series Figure Painting extends, with renewed subtlety, the artist’s long affair with her preferred mediums: water and light and the figure. Like a painter, Cole mixes and layers, blends and builds her compositions into ethereal portraits rich with rhythm and dimension. Inspired by the painting techniques cited in their names, these figures—Alla Prima, Underpainting, and others—are like beautiful ghosts: barely outlined by the dance of light across skin; so near the surface and somehow just out of reach. Cole’s camera lens—a tool which for the artist does not “capture” her created worlds but rather brings them into existence—plucks her ethereal subjects as though from a dream, granting them each a moment of stillness and mystery.”
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