My paintings usually begin with a photograph. I am attracted to the sensual: fingertips on warm wood, a particular kind of sunlight; or a composition that starts with the bottom of someone's feet. I also enjoy images that exploit idiosyncrasies of the camera: the nature of effects such as lens flare, the spots of light on a photograph facing the sun, or the way an image blurs and becomes transparent. When a girl spins cartwheels in the dusk – it’s somewhere between a still and a video: the subject has not quite been captured. And the distortion of an object very close to the lens can be fantastic – an extreme disproportion where a composition can be interestingly dominated by a hand or a forehead. My paintings rely on the instantaneous nature of the photograph, and I like to acknowledge that impact in my work.
I am also interested in the history of my photos. Do I own that history because I took the photo? Am I remembering it correctly? There are stories of images that my children can describe in detail as first-hand experiences, when in fact, they were not there, sometimes not even born yet. The story has worked its way so deeply into their consciousness that it has merged with their own past . In the murky forest of our memory, our personal stories become collective stories, and what happens to one of us becomes a part of all of us, as long as someone remembers it.
— Kris Manzanares