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Father as a child in Leipzig

I am leaving for California soon. I hope to see the paintings of the Bay Area artists at the John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco, and to visit some other galleries while there. I have begun a painting of my father, and will be adding a slightly menacing figure who will be measuring his head. I had the pleasure of cataloging some books on phrenology a short time ago, and wanted to use that quack science because it was later manipulated by racists to justify their ideas of a master race. Whenever one group of people decide they are better than another horrible things can happen and they certainly did during my father’s childhood. I really like the photograph of my father that I am working from, because he is caught in the middle of laughing; a seemingly true and robust laugh that I haven’t seen often enough.

Source material surrounding painting of my father
Source material surrounding painting of my father

Almost final and work in progress

I believe I am almost finished with the “Wrestlers” painting but want to add some more careful linear elements to define the figures. The painting I am working on now is “Family Portrait” which combines images of my father as a child with images taken from Library of Congress photographs of other sentient beings worthy of compassion. I am beginning to blend both of my styles, the more realistic with the expressive, in one work. So far, I am happy with the results.

Almost complete
In process, surrounded by source material