Acrylic on canvas, 78 x 56 in
When I started this painting, I had in mind a girl celebrating her birthday in a kind of pastoral scene, where she isolates herself from the group to take selfies.
While I was working in my studio, the radio was on, telling the story of a 16-year-old boy who was beaten by his parents and kicked out of his house for wanting to be a girl. From that day on, his only safe places were a friend’s car, where he slept, and his school, where he ate and studied. Listening to him, I was struck by the optimism with which he described his life and the desire he had to be 18 and able to work and to fend for himself.
As I finished the face of The Girl, I realized that the story invaded my mind and guided my hand to paint the face of the boy instead. The Girl, this girl, was embodying his life and story.