Anthony's Song

8x10", oil on canvas, 2020

This piece is the first in a series of portraits focusing on the intersecting physical contours and emotional expressions of the  face through multiple moments of time, overlaid on top of each other, into one whole. Yet, while it fits the mold of this series, it stands out in its unique candid heaviness: allowing the viewer to interpret the model’s emotions while not being confronted with them directly. Anthony, our subject, doesn’t look towards the viewer, giving us an almost voyeuristically honest view of his emotional state, while also creating an insurmountable distance between us.

Anthony’s Song was created in the summer of 2020, at the height of the black lives matter protests. At a time when many across America were for the first time trying to understand the black experience in this country, this piece illustrates that while those of us outside the black community can sympathize, we won’t ever be able to truly understand the lived experience. There will always be distance between our realities, yet, through capturing what I can see, through multiple perspectives, I hope I allow myself, and by extension the viewer, to empathize with each other person’s experience in a more multifaceted way. While there’s distance between us and Anthony, empathy allows us to get a little closer.

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