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a community portrait project

@ Albuquerque, NM

Forever Now looked at a community of Albuquerque creatives — painters, poets, organizers and professional administrators — through the lens of the portraiture tradition I studied in art school. Each image was the product of a conversational photo shoot with the person portrayed in which I invited them to choose how they’d like to be portrayed in a medium that lasts for hundreds of years. As creatives, our community is so intertwined with our time and place, so much of our moment; and yet painted portraits point to legacy, to accomplishment, to fame. I transformed the photo chosen from the shoot into a digital painting, adding and subtracting textures, colors, plants, spaces. I then transformed a handful of these digital works into acrylic paintings, generally in a heroic scale.

Like the virtuoso portraitists I admired so much as a young artist growing up in Boston — Sargent and Whistler, Van Dyck and Hals — I am perennially interested in the way a sense of life is imbued into a painting. It’s that life that only painting can preserve in just that way.

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