"meditation on Rembrandt's Portrait of Vaters" conte and pastel on paper. 22" x 30"
Modernism’s eye can be unkind. I
think of Diane Arbus’ crisp clean portraits of the world’s strangers. To me
they feel clinical, curious and detached.
But love’s gaze must be equally
specific. Love doesn’t generalize.
I see this man: lines extending from
his mouth to his jaw; wrinkles around his eyes when he smiles; the hollow in
his neck just behind the left jaw; the way he blinks and stutters just a bit; the
way he rolls the “r”s when he says “corrida.”
To me the portraiture of love is not
generalized; does not cover over the particular or the blemished or the
scarred—because these are the very features that identify this particular
person and which—in love—are more important than some abstract, ideal view of
beauty or elegance.
These studio notes are scraps of poetry and ideas that feed my work as a painter. I hope they establish a bit of context for the paintings and my intention in making them. Whatever I paint, I’m trying to create some space for us to sit with the questions that are not meant to be answered.