Thursday, April 3, 2008
I had this photographed professionally because I am so proud of it. Faces are particularly difficult to do and I struggled with everything in this piece. OK - when do I not? But one thing I've noticed that I do and probably have done for some time. I make up stories about "my people." He's African-American, I think, and older and looks (to me) weary but peaceful. Is he having that coffee after a long night shift or is he getting ready for an equally long day at some blue collar job that goes unnoticed in our status conscious society. Does he have family or is he a loner? I don't know but like the people in Hooper's paintings, I can speculate endlessly about his life and hope that those who look at the piece will be interested enough to make up their own stories about him. I have a whole folder of sketches of people sitting at counters or in restaurants. Sometimes I can see a life unfolding before me in the way that people interact over food; I can't put what I think into words but I hope that I can capture some of it in images.