This painting got deep.... real deep.
When I first began on this. I just wanted to do an exercise resembling a piece I had done over ten years ago. A study of anatomy and light.
So I began this painting of a kid from the early 1900's. A depression era still of two boys, with the demeanor of fifty year old men. I sketched out the skull in detail, and then painted it fully to begin. Then I began to layer on the boy's flesh and detail the clothes. The more he came to life, it suddenly hit me who this really was.
I had been planning a much different painting in honor of my cousin. He committed suicide in 2014. We were like brothers, only separated by weeks in birth. I was humbled to give his eulogy, probably a thousand people were there. He had helped me move to NYC, and that's one hell of a funny story I can't share here... Anyways, I had a completely different plan for a memoir painting for him, but my subconscious was apparently already at work .
I realized the person in this painting looks so similar to my cousin, yet unintentional! Mind you this is a reference to someone born a hundred years prior... My cousin loved to dress up, and his favorite suit was blue. He had a great smile. Although, through time we have also seen the stern darkness in each other's eyes in the late nights we spent drinking and carrying on together.
If that wasn't strange enough, after months of toying with the painting little by little. Leaving it alone for awhile and coming back again. It was two years to the day that I finished and published this piece online without even realizing the anniversary!! I mean what are the chances of finishing it on that exact day without knowing it?!
It goes to show, our subconsciouses are a powerful force. Sometimes we recognize it, and sometimes we don't.
In loving memory of J.J. Flavin.
Oil on Patinae Brass