The portrait I painted of the writer Adi, recently shown at the Norma R. Ory Gallery (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), will soon be shipped to London. This portrait stays true to by Neo-Decadent aesthetic in that it seeks to combine the arts – text, sound (the spoken poem), and image. Is Adi’s writing in the background more of a portrait of himself than the image in the front? The two elements compete with each other but nonetheless there is a harmony between them. While the figure has a strong sense of volume, the text emphasizes the flat nature of the canvas and the medium.
While creating Adi, I drew from my interest in the Neo-Classical movement where figures are idealized and made statuesque. I was particularly informed by Ingres’ 1845 portrait of the Vicomtess Othenin d’Haussonville (Frick Collection, NYC).