Frank Magnotta’s intricately rendered graphite portraits begin with layered and morphed composites of modern logos culled from the mid 1960s and 70s, the artist’s formative years.
These initial skeletons, assembled digitally, create the framework for his masterfully drawn, contorted busts.
Built into each unique portrait are the visible effects— detrimental, elevating, or otherwise — of the institutional power(s) the logos represent on
the individual psyche.
“Bicentennial Bob,” for example, presents a “post-hippie” donning a fringed leather jacket with a bifurcated, mustachioed face; on one side we see the subject composed, sporting voluminous waves, and carrying what is possibly a
Marijuana leaf, and on the other, cornrows, a bug eye and a furrowed brow.
Here, Magnotta implies that his subjects are conflicted — all is not what it appears within the individual.