We made it to the 25th segment of these blog posts. I remember all the old Studio Confessions back in the day but those were nonsense. 98.5% temper tantrum sounding rants about me, myself , and I. Thank who ever you believe in for growing up. Another beauty of being an adult is that I’m multi tasking as I write this. I’ve been on hold with the Parisian house of artists who really are testing my patience. You could say I’ve been prepared for this moment of rude operators and long wait times in order to receive more immigration work. Instead of roasting the entire system on here, I look at my atelier and tell myself it’s all worth it.
As long as I can find a reflective surface, I’ll keep producing self portraits. Pactum is a bit different because I wanted to get out of the usual “I’m looking in a mirror as I’m sitting down” composition. Despite how people may see my work as “Grotesque” or ask me questions about my mental state, my portraits are self love regardless how I’m feeling. I’ll examine and accept me for me regardless of my mood. To me, that’s what it means to be unconditional. I only have myself at the end of the day.
I’d like to touch back on the previous 2 portraits I’ve done of Sandra Bland and Mike Brown. I was reading an article a friend sent me about Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till. She painted the body of a brutally murdered black boy in Mississippi. There’s a lot of controversy and with good reason. I’m a white cis male artist and I would like to apologize to anyone offended with the portraits I made. They weren’t created with the intent of appropriation but because these events had an strong impact on me. Unlike Schutz’s shocking approach to her subject, I wanted to depict these two important figures in the proper manner to be remembered.
These two paintings were not created in hopes to bring my name fame. I was alive when they transpired unlike Schutz. The images on the news of Sandra’s mugshot and Mike’s body in the street are off limits. Who am I as a Canadian white man who went to all boy private school to decide I’m going to recreate those horrifying events especially without permission from the families? What do I know about black suffering? If the families want to show those images, like Emitt Till’s mother did with the casket photo, then let them. It’s their choice.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I would appreciate if you could open up a dialog to explain if I’m doing something wrong. I don’t know all the answers and I’m still learning as well as unlearning things. My intentions were to honour and pay respect by representing these two people who were wronged by the law. If I can use my advantages and privilege as a platform for others so there could be a change in this world, I’d like to think I’d be doing a good job.