So close, yet so far. It’s an idiom that seems to fit these curious, misty paintings by New York based artist Kristy Gordon. Her indirect self portraits and otherwise mundane scenes have a mysterious ambiance and depth. Gordon’s technique creates this illusion by depicting closer objects as paler, less detailed, in lower contrast than those away from us. At the same time, there is directness in the way she returns the observer’s gaze. Her treatment of atmosphere here sets the tone for the relationship between object and viewer. For example, in “A Self Portrait with Batman”, Gordon moves our eyes away from the main subject with spots of detail on the balloon behind her. In another self portrait, “Passing Through II”, Gordon creates a physical boundary by placing a reflective glass door between us. In doing so, Gordon allows us to observe private moments but not be a fully engaged participant. Obviously, not all of Gordon’s paintings apply to this visual narrative and this is just one aspect. As a figurative artist, she explores a range of subjects that she describes as having ‘emotional baggage’. However, by building walls visually, we’re given an emotional insight to her more personal work.