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Acrylic on canvas 78 x 56 in
Birthday Girl
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.

Dreams are made of light
Wind in Wonderland