In his series titled ‘Dirty Laundry’, New Hampshire-based artist Shawn Huckins reinterpreted classical paintings (18th and 19th-century European portraiture) from an amusing and satirical perspective. Through them, Huckins proposes us to reflect on all expressions and symbolism (hidden) behind clothes, such as wealth, class, and identity.
We use cloth to conceal, but also to express, ‘selectively’, based on how we see ourselves and how we want others to see us. Of course, we don’t express all facets of our identity, some things we hold near out of habit, nature, or fear of ridicule. We all have dirty laundry, literally and figuratively. ‘Dirty laundry’, the phrase, is defined as personal, or private affairs that one does not want made public as they would cause distress and embarrassment. ‘Dirty Laundry’, the series, employs contemporary fabrics painted over traditional American portraiture to explore questions surrounding what, how much, and how well we share and hide. (…) Dirty Laundry gives us the opportunity to question the security of our own concealments. What are we concealing from ourselves and others? What would it mean for the parts we conceal to be exposed? How would others react to our dirty laundry?Shawn Huckins