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Gwen Manfrin  Orinda, CA

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Gwen

Thematically, I am exploring human emotions, specifically, moments of unguarded angst. I am striving to capture a barely concealed instant of despair or pain that resonates with all of us.

The person we convey to the world is often a “created” image, one that has characteristics that are desirable, but not necessarily honest. It is what we want our footprint of self to say to others. In that “costume”, intimate, more personal glimpses, slip into view, and we are caught “out” at the very times we are in the process of concealing. A gaze, a turning away, can reveal raw emotions, as does a confrontational stare at a moment of insecurity. What we use as a skin actually reveals more about us, and is apparent in body language, attitude and attire.

The poses are often uncomfortably confrontational, reflecting the teenage angst experienced by so many young girls. Conformity collides with a need to feel unique and different in some special way. I strive to deliver a cryptic narrative to allow for a contradiction of intent, these girls all portray a certain strength of identity while still being seemingly very vulnerable. The space is purposely ambiguous, without specificity or reference. This allows for a timelessness for the viewer: one which creates the question of one”s place in the narrative; solely as an observer, or perhaps as a participant drawing upon personal experiences and expectations.

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Recommended by our guest curators

Shawn Frederick

Photographer and Director

"I have great appreciation for the artist that can convey a true emotion in their collaborative works. With Gwen’s work, I enjoy the range of detail she maintains within the tension, while provocatively illustrating the sublime."

Gwen appears in the following Top 10 lists



10 of 20 reactions displayed

"so bautifal that i thuoght i did it"

"Pict 1.Emotion in multiplicity of body contact.Pict 2.Blindly exposed.Exposure in a blind soul."

"very inspirin..."

"Love the detail and the mystery..."

"being a teenage girl myself it was very easy to relate to your description as well as your work. especially liked the "conformity collides wtih a need to feel unique and different in some special way" thanks for sharing!"

"hmmm..not feelin' these- they're oddly set in the frame,especially the first one, it looks the the subjects are sitting on an invisible surface which does not align with the pillow. It's odd."

"Absolutely amazing!!! Full of the soul..."

"I see a subtle hint of a practitioner of the Art of Wiofccan in your art, especially your use of the theme of four women"

"It would be helpful to know whether these images are somehow related to photography. In any case, they display not only teenage unhappiness, but the unhappiness of all ages. They also show the pitiful aspect of certain times over which we may have no control."

"Very nice work! Maybe I'm a dolt this done with charcoal, pencil, ink or...what? The photorealism of the work leaves me uncertain about the media used. But if these pieces are, in fact, DRAWN, then it's magnificent handiwork. I am very impressed."

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