I’m very pleased to learn that my painting “I did not ask” has been accepted into this year’s ING Discerning Eye exhibition.
I did not ask
I did not ask my model about the scars on her arms. Despite working with her regularly and being on familiar terms, I never once broached the subject of those scars, and in my paintings of her I never showed them.
A couple of years after this sitting I read the book “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara – a difficult and troubling read, but extremely moving. As I read about the main character’s self-harming and how his friends were all quietly aware of it, but never spoke of it, I thought again about my model bearing her scars in silence. That is what compelled me to find the sketches and photos from that sitting, and to produce this.
I think this painting is just as much about my own reaction to those marks on her forearms, and my awkward silence.
The ING Discerning Eye annual exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics.
The selectors choose both publicly submitted works and works by personally invited artists. Each selector’s section is hung separately to give each its own distinctive identity. The impression emerges of six small exhibitions within the whole.
The exhibition website is here.