Social media drives our attention and ambition, to be like others, or fit in. Reality television is a produced and polished entertainment outlet, yet we watch and dream of being like the Kardashian’s, or this weeks multi millionaire internet trending darling. Political figures lie directly into the camera, and call it “Alternative facts”.
The truth is, we have completely lost what it means to just be different, or in this case, ourselves. We create personas that we present to work, to our friends, to our families, to our lovers, that are merely half truths, if there is any truth at all to the image. Embrace your uniqueness, and those of others around you, for that is what makes us special. Or, all we are is fragmented pieces left for others to put together.
There is nothing more challenging or more satisfying, to me as an artist, than capturing someone’s pure essence in a portrait. The goal is to record just this one single, brief moment in someones journey through life; to look below the surface and find their story, and tell it.
It is an extremely intimate process, and one I do not take lightly. Sometimes, the process is quick, and I find myself connecting with my subject on such a deep level that we almost become one, and it spills out onto the canvas in one out of body existential moment.
While other times, I find myself going through the motions for days on end, searching for that connection. Toiling over a canvas that feels empty, until I finally hit on that energy that originally inspired my desire to paint this portrait. It can be extremely mentally and emotionally exhausting, but in the end, this is what I do, I tell stories through paint.