In a couple of days my next exhibition will open. Today was all about fixings, name plates and tidying up edges of the paintings ready for hanging tomorrow.
I am looking forward to showing the work as for the past few months they have been wrapped up in my studio. I often think its unfair to them- they need to get out once in a while. Also a little part of me thinks- if no one sees them do they really exist? So out they are going.
The exciting part is that some of the subjects of the work, my friends, have not yet seen the finished peices- some just on social media others not at all. It’s such a great moment to watch someones reaction when they see a portrait of themselves- at first it’s surprise then they take a closer look and start seeing parts of themselves reflected in it…other than that I don’t really know what else goes through their minds. I hope they see themselves as the gorgeous people that they are, as I see them. I think in that way having a painting done can be quite empowering.
Also showing will be a new Frida portrait that has not yet been seen- ‘Spirit of Frida’ (Frida Kahlo). This is bright, bold and big. She looks back at you with wide beautiful eyes- almost granting you any wish you take to her. This is Frida in the sky, passed on, raher than a depiction of her alive.
Together I hope it is a wall full of gorgeous women talking to each other silently. I thik its going to be a pretty powerful vibe as the women are all beautiful and inspiring. Did I mention Nina Simone is in there too?!
Nina Simone I love for her music, her politics, her bravery, her conviction. She traded her career to stand up to the brutal racism in America. ‘Strange Fruit’ is a powerful track- and a reminder to this day of what went on. She was also, undiagnosed, bi-polar for much of her life.
So- lots of powerful stuff I’m hoping it’s going to harmonise beautifully. Let’s wait and see…
P.S. I had considered putting in one of my early self portraits- but they are so sad and heavy I don’t want to inflict them in the audience- another time for those.