Artist paints with dust from subject’s home

eric - painting by allison cortson

artist allison cortson, with her dust paintings

Los Angeles based artist, Allison Cortson, is doing something I don’t think anyone else in the art world is doing. And it’s brilliant. She’s creating painting using dust found in the subject’s home.

Collecting it from the vacuums of the people she’s painting, Cortson then spends weeks using glue and the dust to create these incredible images of the subject’s in their home environment, with shading that looks as if it was done with charcoal.

lee - painting by allison cortson

Admitting most of the subjects are people she knows, Cortson also says she feels like using their dust helps create more of a feeling of where they live or what their lives are like.  According to her, it’s the perfect material because it was actually made by the people in the paintings.

Cortson told The Telegraph:

“I was sitting on the couch watching dust particles float around in the light coming through the window and the idea came to me. I’m interested in the fact that the older we get, the more dust we create – it is made up of 70 per cent dead skin. I enjoy painting people and thought dust would be the perfect material to represent them in their own environment.”

ramona - painting by allison cortson

What a brilliant and unique perspective to have on creating what is essentially a portrait. If you think about it the paintings are actually infused by the subject’s own DNA. Romantic and perhaps a little gross all at once. But then, dust isn’t gross. It’s just dust.   Source

eric - painting by allison cortson


A freelance writer & radio announcer with a general love for the bizarre, the weird and the unique.
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