Hilary Diptych, originally uploaded by J Trav.

I was immediately intrigued by Jason Travis’s Persona series and spent a long time today browsing through all 110 diptychs. Each piece pairs a portrait with the contents of his or her bag or purse. I was so taken with the idea that I decided to try it myself:

Notebook, sketchbook, two dvds, wallet, lip balm, phone, novel, pen, receipts… Kind of boring, right? I don’t have anything interesting in there like many of Jason’s subjects did (see gameboy, avacado, chalk and popsicles, knitting). I don’t think my bag would have made the cut. So I decided to create a fantasy bag of things around my living room that would make for a much more appealing set of items.

How fun would it be to travel around with a pop-up book, a jaw harp, and an hourglass?

The differences between who we think we are, how others see us, and how we want to be perceived are fascinating to me. Jason’s work throws objects and possessions into that mix and forces us to think of how we are defined by the things we tote around. All these concepts are right in line with my new body of work (some of which I will share very soon!), so it’s no surprise I love this series. See the whole set here.

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