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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Frank Oriti

My recent work examines the culture of blue-collar middle class individuals returning to the hometowns and neighborhoods that they had originally attempted to escape. Each portrait reveals the connect and disconnect between ubiquitous suburban landscapes and its residents while also presenting questions such as: “What has my life become?” and “What will everyone think of me now?”

The figures that I depict in these spaces are friends and family that I grew up with who had left the neighborhood, mainly for college or the military, and then returned to that once-familiar place. In exploring these relationships I am also examining my own return to my hometown city of Parma, Ohio. Conveying portraits over the repetitive quality of the cookie-cutter houses that had surrounded this social group is an effort to present the faded memories and faded ideals that are so common with this cyclical experience. These sentiments toward this homecoming are represented within facial expressions that mirror a psychological state of “settling;” an acceptance of the realization that they have come back to a place that they might possibly never leave again.

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