Alejandro Fischer Cardenas

My First Impression of You

After studying Franz Messerschmidt´s late sculptures, I became interested in the powerful expressions of his Character Heads series. This ongoing project, My First Impression of You, is a series of hundreds of 12”x12” charcoal portraits that explore the psychiatry behind grimaces and the connections with the subconscious mind.

-->Project Description

I will draw high-speed charcoal portraits of you and anybody else who decides to participate. These drawings should take approximately 2 minutes each. My intention is to draw hundreds of 12”x12” charcoal portraits and then put them together to create a very large and expressive artwork. The apporximate size I have in mind for the final artwork is 600" x 120".

My hope is to use the power of online communities to create a collaborative artwork of enormous proportions. Please consider participating.


-->What’s Behind the Idea of Drawing so Fast?

When I draw as fast as I can, I leave little or no time for conscious thoughts, and this allows me to achieve stronger-than-usual psychological expressions.

Drawing really fast allows me to put down on paper things that I would otherwise not see. The goal is NOT to create a realistic portrait of the sitter, but rather to extract the life and spirit of the model (you) and capture a specific mood in time for each person.


-->How will I Create Your Portrait?

  • Option #1: (If you live in Massachusetts) come pose in my studio for 15 minutes or ½ hour and I will draw a few high-speed portraits of you. If you live too far and you can’t come to my studio (in Somerville, MA), or if you simply don’t feel like coming here, choose option #2.
  • Option #2: Email me a digital picture of your face and shoulders. Any picture will do as long as the light hits your face from one side (as if you were standing next to a window or lamp where half of your face is lit and half darker). Make sure it is not too dark (I don’t know you and I need to see how you look).


-->Tips on taking your pic. for the project:

  • Be creative. Make a grimace, be serious, intense, twist your neck, laugh, cry, make a horror face, anything you feel like doing is okay, just try not to send me a typical posing smile.
  • I do not need fancy or high resolution pictures. Anyhting decent is ok.
  • Please avoid pictures taken with flash and/or typical selfie smiles.
  • Once I have you (or your picture) here in my studio, I will then proceed to create a few high-speed sketches of you and choose one to be part of the final artwork.


--> Cost

If you wish to participate, there is no cost to you. However, if you want to donate anything to the project and be a patron of the arts, I will gladly accept any donations. The money will be used for anything related to this project such as art supplies, framing, art transportation, exhibits, etc.

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