Artwork / Swollen / Puberty

before and after portraits of puberty
Gwenn Seemel
Before and After: Puberty
2006 and 2007
acrylic on bird’s eye piqué
30 x 54 inches (combined dimensions)

Though I’d say I’m an adult, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the teenage angst and energy that this pair of portraits depicts. I just love the feeling of potential-ness, the curiosity, and the need to push boundaries that accompany adolescence and that’s part of why I adore painting teens, including this one.

What follows is the text originally displayed with Before and after: Puberty. It describes the earth change that I chose as an analogy for this woman’s transition.

In the space of a brief moment, a mountain can explode with molten lava. The transition from dormant to active seems instantaneous, but, without the invisible days/months/years of pressure building, mountains can never become volcanoes.

painterly portrait
detail image
painterly portrait
detail image