Listening to the Bob Dylan song Highlands where he draws his waitress’s portrait and she says, "That don’t look a thing like me!” and then he says “Oh, kind Miss, it most certainly does” reminds me how people expect a portrait to look.
Getting to Know You is a series of portraits of people I’ve seen almost every day for the last 5 years. However though we’ve spent significant time together, there’s never been an opportunity to really look at or study these individuals; and in the context we meet, it would be odd to dwell on their features and think too long about Dave’s eye colour, the slope of Koda’s nose or the crookedness of Chris’s mouth. Removing them from our usual sporting context has allowed this study to take place.
The portraits are painted in enamel, a medium difficult to work with, often unpredictable, and requiring a certain temperament and physicality. The painting process involved iterations of layering and wiping, initially to remove the sitter’s outward persona and any obvious physical features and then to strip back distractions of clothing and backgrounds directing the focus to the sitter.
Richard Lewer, April 2017