This ongoing work is about connection above all else. Portraiture is not an anonymous union of faces, quite to the contrary every work is an opportunity for truth to manifest itself. As an artist, there is a compulsion to express. Everything that is encountered is fuel to add to that creative drive. In this digitized world of disconnection in which millions of people hide their pain behind screens, both literal and metaphorical, there is so much need that is untouched upon. This is a time when not many people are listening and paying attention, but there is so much fear and so much pain. series _ Portrait is a genuine attempt to allow the figure to reach out and establish connection and open a dialogue stemming from an authentic desire to simply be of true help. These portraits hope to touch on something in the human condition that allows individual people and people on a universal scale to survive through the incredibly trying situations that they are faced with.
A famous artist once said that everything we make is a self portrait. While that may or may not be true, these portraits absolutely hold scattered hints of true experiences of the individual within their anonymous depths. They hold traces of my mother, of all the people I have encountered and the stories that they have told me about their lives and their challenges. I do not approach the canvas attempting to capture these things, but rather, like meditation, the act of drawing holds me completely captivated by the present moment, allowing these things to flow, uninhibited and without intention onto the surface before me. I know that this is what I was meant to be doing because when making these portraits I am filled with excitement, and, for brief moments, I feel truly alive. As I create these works - I find myself in a state where I am not simply going through the motions anymore, I am sincerely engaged in the immediate act of living. It is this experience of vitality that must be shared, in an attempt to help people in the language of the voice that I have been given: the voice of art-making.
This reaching out is in no sense a one-way endeavor. The entire driving factor behind this series is a wish not only to give but to receive. The reception, the recognition, of people’s truths, their stories of loss, pain, fear, does not terrify, instead it gives deeper awareness which can then be reflected back onto the canvas, out of the artwork, and into the world again. This is a communal experience. This process of receiving people’s deepest truths place me, the artist, in a position of extreme privilege. People open up, trusting that they are in a safe space is our experience. There is an empathy here, not only an extreme curiosity and attentiveness, but even at times a sense of true, albeit momentary, connection with the feelings being felt and expressed by another human being.
I meet much tragedy and joy – and all the different ways of coping. When all else fails, all that one is left with is this choice: To continue on in the hope of a better future. These faces reach out of the canvas to any and all viewers, striving to express their openness, their understanding, their pain, strength and the overcoming of it.
My portraits strive to reflect relationship in the deepest sense.