Bettina Sellmann makes paintings that function as metaphors for contemporary feelings of imprisonment in social conventions and psychological isolation. Utilizing old master portraits as inspiration, she focuses on the late 18th century as a climactic period of elaborate external facades that were at once romantic and artificial. She creates “see-through versions” of these historic paintings using watercolor on canvas in thin veil-like layers of pigment. Sellmann transforms these mysterious portraits to resemble people she knows or deeply relates to. By visually fusing the past and the present, she reveals both a continuity and metamorphosis of societal restrictions through time. The resulting images expose an inner vulnerability in the master works and their subjects.