Inner Portrait by Mia Silverman  
Image · Added: Sep 14, 2008 · Views: 9267 · People Inspired: 15
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Sarah Colby said: (on Nov 22, 2008)
How I wish I could see it in person! That is amazing.
Sacha Hanigan said: (on Mar 17, 2009)
I agree with Sarah.. this is amazing and would be even more so if we could stand in front of it. It came from a very beautiful place...
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My Mom, Iva Silverman, was first diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 3 and passed away when I was 16. She was an amazing woman and mother -- with a warmth, strength, spirit, compassion, and wisdom that shaped my life and has been my greatest gift to know.

While a student at Stanford, I received an URO grant to paint an inner portrait of my Mom onto a life-size mannequin.

Throughout my life, I've always used art in a very personal way -- as a means of healing, remembering, exploring, and learning. After my Mom's death, I often created art of her to help me through the grieving process. I'd created many portraits in an attempt to capture and immortalize who she was, but discovered portraits didn't have an ability to tell the full story about my Mom that I knew I was interested in capturing and sharing most. I wanted to find a new form of art that represented the portrait inside of a person, the life of the person instead of simply the person.

My Aunt, Gina Lieberman, is an artist who paints mannequins and developed a concept for capturing the spirit of an individual in art that I found powerful and applied it to this project. I loved the idea of working on the multi-dimensional surface of a mannequin -- when bare, a mannequin seemed so lifeless, boring, inanimate, and uninteresting. But once imbued with the colorful spirit of my Mom, the fully animated figure came to life and represented the stories, memories, and essence of my Mom as if they were its own.

Although the process of creating this art piece was challenging and emotional, it was also very healing. Instead of attempting to render a flat image of my Mom as I'd done in the past, this project forced me to search deeper beneath the surface in hope that I could tell a story about her life. I hoped to draw others into my artwork through the emotion it represented, and to reach out to any person who has experienced loss and share the ways we live on in the memories of those who love us most.
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