I have always been fascinated by human beings. It’s hard to express why exactly, which is almost certainly my reason for making art. I started drawing at the age of three, and as far as I know I never was interested in anything else other than “people.” Everyone knows the parable of the blind men and the elephant: each man feels a different part of the elephant’s body, but only one part, such as the tail or the leg, and they all come to a different conclusion – the man who touched the leg says it’s a tree trunk, and so on. Each man of course misses entirely what the elephant really is, because each of them can only perceive one aspect of it. Likewise, I have always felt that there was some important truth to be reached by representing human beings; something central, much bigger than the sum of its parts, and certainly something worth the search.

I also believe that taking the time to paint, draw, to conduct that research with my hands – as opposed to taking a photograph or any other “instant” mode of capture – has an important effect on the end result, on the viewer, and of course on the maker. The process is long, and along with the dust, sweat and mistakes, it seems like something else has time to enter the mix, perhaps while I’m sleeping or away from the studio. That something else is probably better and more important than anything I could manufacture. So I’ve stuck to the traditional medium.

My portraits are not made to be pictures. They’re meant to be alive – to be a presence. I use several methods in order to achieve that effect (some of which are technical), and to be understood fully the work really needs to be seen in the flesh, revealing that very “present” quality which doesn’t translate to photographs or a web page.

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