This is a series I am currently working on called Held. The work came about after a few things happening around the same time. One was that I had an iPod and was wondering what I might do with it creatively, another was I found out about an app called Brushes from a colleague. The third was that I had been looking at a series of paintings made by Théodore Géricault, his “portraits of the insane”.
In 1821, Géricault painted a series of ten (only five remain today) portraits of psychiatric patients. What I find compelling about these images is that the circumstances around their creation were very unique for the time. These people he painted hadn’t commissioned his services and certainly wouldn’t own the work when it was complete. I think it is for these reasons that Géricault was free to paint these people as he really saw them. There is no attempt to flatter and there are no favors to be gained by connecting with these people. The result is something so honest and psychologically complex.
I considered doing studies of them (I still might), but what I wanted to do more was something new. So here we have this series: