For more than 40 years I have been a painter of people, looking closely at faces and what they reveal. Perhaps that’s why I found myself bemused when visiting Chelsea art galleries, where my encounters were no longer face-to-face. High walled reception areas, along with computer screens, blocked from view the faces of those working within these spaces. All one generally can see is the top of a head punctuating through these barriers. Using my own photographs as reference, I was inspired to paint this series of people who are barely visible.
Today, these images also act as visual metaphors, as we barricade ourselves from others so that we may survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Our computer screens providing us with social contact, mental and visual stimulation that we can no longer safely experience first hand in the world.