Candice Flewharty

June 3-26, 2016

The EMOJI Project

I am working on a series called “The Emoji Project.” These are realistic portraits of me “making faces” to imitate the round yellow faces used in texts to tell the receiver how you feel. Along with the “faces,” I began a group of small paintings of hands gesturing. A lovely result of this project has been the response from friends across the globe. I am lucky enough to have received photos representing the hands on the smart phone keyboard as well as all sorts of creative, smart, and certainly vulgar ideas. I intend to paint them all.
I propose installing these paintings in groups. Through September, these paintings hung nicely in one room of the Governors Island Art Fair. This super show included 100 artists. I am proud of my installation and feel that it would work well in your space, as well. So far, there are fourteen 11”x14” “selfie” portraits, sixteen 8”x 10” hand paintings, and two large 24”x 36” oil paintings. The smaller ones work well grouped in straight rows and columns. The project is not complete and might never be even though I continue to build it. I will happily provide any additional images.
Writing is difficult. I should say that my lack of eloquence is both a result of my own lack of focus and our collective first-world laziness. We are accustomed to everything working fast and requiring little of our own brainpower or physical energy. How marvelous that I can reconnect with people I haven’t seen in years, and terrible that while we text often, some family members and I have not hugged each other in years. The text may end with a bright yellow winky face or, if they think I need it, prayer hands. Emogi’s dot our relationships to substitute for real connection.
We are becoming progressively worse at being together. It’s hard. Also, we don’t want to bother anybody or be bothered. Texting is the answer. Send a virtual hi-five. Before we become self-aware robots that share feelings by selecting a smiley or frowny face, I hope to talk about it.

Candice Flewharty is from Norwich, CT in a house that’s “older than our country”. It was built in 1761. Across the street is a cemetery bearing the remains of several signers of the Declaration of Independence. Reminders of time passing and our country’s history are everywhere. Flewharty says her own history seems small in comparison. She was born in Tyler, Texas, and most of her extended family lives between Dallas and Longview. She is grateful for the worldliness and education gained by living in vastly different places.
Flewharty moved to New York City in 1999 and finished her MFA in painting in 2001 at the School of Visual Arts. After marrying into the Navy, she moved to San Diego for 4 years and then to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She states her daughter will never lack for dinner conversation as she was born in Cuba in 2005. Our next stop was Charleston, SC before settling in Norwich, CT. She has two children and paints full time.