During the lockdown, New Hampshire-based artist Sean Hawkin began creating small abstract paintings based on the bold patterns checkered in his wardrobe. He soon began putting stacks of contemporary fabrics and images side by side from the 18th and 19th centuries in his Dirty Laundry series. “We use cloth to hide, but also to express something,” he says.

For each portrait, Huckins places a mannequin in the studio in the exact position the sitter originally had, then builds layers of fabric over it and paints the final result. “The work is about self-discovery and identity, but also about the secrets we keep,” he says. “We all have dirty laundries, literally and figuratively.”

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