For me portraiture has focused mainly on documenting images and narratives with oil or graphite. In future this process will turn into something entirely new, as seen in a project I am currently developing, the JUST Project. Documentation is a valuable word in this context: my aim is to document lives. But portraiture is also the attempt to stave off death and in examining my work, perhaps this becomes apparent. I believe some part of myself, as much as the subject, becomes permanently a part of the portrait, though what I cannot say beyond an energy that strikes me, at the end of the portrait process.
This portrait strives to understand death and loss. Not only these topics, but also, how I can as an artist approach the very concept and exercise of a portrait, both materially and conceptually. I have been intrigued, in painting this portrait, by an almost willful incompleteness. I find I cannot complete the work in this series as I might typically consider a portrait to be complete. Here, I was preoccupied by the life of the featured subject: he is a bike thief. When I met him, he was moving stolen bikes between storage units. I wonder to what extent is his life a kind of suicide? To what extent do the conditions of his life make him incomplete, unfulfilled? My preoccupation with these questions left me unable to completely cover the surface of this small canvas. In creating this portrait and studying portraiture, I will also aim to study the idea of what is complete, or not, and how to depict this in my work.