Art Review – #PortraitMemoirs


Art is alive and well in New York City this summer. With a broadening scope of focus on personal connections and individual discovery, the myriad of aesthetic approaches are welcomed by all. In this case, creative takes on selfies were the name of the game. In the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NY, The Thesis Group presented a show aptly titled, #PortraitMemoirs at the Planeta Gallery. In a collaboration with Electric Objects, the event’s mission statement was as follows: ‘Due to the rise of selfie culture, The Thesis Group is going back to the original, artful roots of what it means to capture yourself on film. 20 artists across a variety of mediums were selected to participate in the project and submit three self-portraits accompanied by a six word memoir.’ The Thesis Group was founded in 2016 by Dani DiCiaccio, who also performs stellar music as KYOSi. It serves as a platform for artists to say something personal about their work and process by offering prompts, projects and opportunities, each with its own Thesis.  

On display that night were the artists’ self-portraits and gallery guests were able to delve into this intimate procession by making their own as well along the way! Readers can view all artists at, Pianist and composer, Todd Brozman, was on the premises to work the musical ambiance of the space.

Guests at the event arrived down a small studio workshop and exhibition hall below street level. Giant signs for Buzzballz Cocktails, which were being sold and sampled at the bar in the back room, were aligned next to the projector screen. Built next to the signs were humongous wooden speakers that were playing music to compliment the slideshow of the self-portraits. A tiny photo booth remained available for guests to take their own private portrait behind a makeshift black cloth barrier. Within, they could send their mysterious portraits to themselves or to whomever they wished. By the entrance lay three Electric Objects products on display. Sadly, fans were unable to interact with them or engage with potential representatives for more information and exploration.

While the mingling commenced from the inception, Mr. Brozman silently set up on floor in his little musical sanctuary and took over the soundtrack for the rest of the show. Various seating arrangements were made available for lounging and collaborative chatter as the event progressed. Hell, there were even dogs in attendance to add a little flair to it all. Of the images on the screen, each captured various moments in time that applied to each artist or individual in their own way. As Todd sat crossed legged on the floor on a maroon blanket with his synth and xylophone tinkling away, it was all surreal. With whirring bits that lingering, it was an immediate trippy vibe. It was selfie music at its strangest or best.

Take a look at some of the portraits below and their six word memoirs!


Erich Woodrum, Photographer 

His six word memoir is – “Pain delivers us transcendence of self.”

Anthony Valadez, DJ 

His six word memoir is – “We all die so let’s party.”

Nichole WashingtonPhotographer 

Her six word memoir is – “Living boldly from the inside out.”

Donwill, Rapper / DJ 

His six word memoir is – “Is ‘infinite scroll’ just eternal damnation?”

Jam on.