Fayum Portraits

Lauren A. Toomer
Fayum Portraits

Graphite and white charcoal on found manila envelopes, wood shelves


As a figurative artist, I have created a system of marks and layers that reference the notion that the whole is “other” than the sum of its individual parts. In this series, John and Jane Doe’s portraits are drawn on old manila envelopes. Objects like keys, pendants, figures, and other miscellaneous forms are scattered throughout the composition. These fragmentized moments provide some sense of a narrative lingering on the surface, even if it is simply about the materiality of the mark or the ephemerality of the object. Slashes, hatching, and other gestural imprints help me to transform my art into pictorial labyrinths, open for exploration.

Lauren A. Toomer graduated from the University of California Berkeley, receiving a BA in Art Practice. Her liberal arts education, specifically in the area of human anatomy, continues to inform her art and education. Toomer is an Art Practice MFA candidate in her second year in Stanford’s Department of Art & Art History.