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Untitled (C.S.)
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© Jo Ann Callis

Jo Ann Callis
American, 2000
Inkjet print
15 1/8 x 14 in.
2004.86.27

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Around the year 2000 Callis's concern with photographing the heads of infants led her back to an early interest in painting. She tackled larger-than-life canvases, working in a hyperrealistic manner; at the same time, she explored inkjet (digital) printing as she worked on this new subject matter. With oil paint she attempted to re-create the look of perfect newborn skin.

After scanning her negatives for digital printing, she manipulated the volume of the small heads, the color of eyes, and the peculiarities of undeveloped human characteristics. Isolating the infants' heads from their bodies also encouraged an alien appearance, not inappropriate for new beings whose lack of sophisticated communication makes us wonder just what they are thinking.