PORTRAITS OF ARTISTS

              Overcoming physical or mental anguish is something the artist will always do to create their artwork. For an artist the way back to healing is in the studio through the creation process. Two very close friends (artists-Len Merlo & Fausto Sevlla) went through that special anguish. Len’s anguish was Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I have always appreciated Len getting right back to work as soon as he had enough strength from his cancer treatments. Fausto’s anguish was Triple Bypass Surgery. He sent me a selfie of his chest from the hospital. The red scar from the surgery was still fresh. Within two weeks of the surgery he sent me an image of his newest painting. Meanwhile, I have been painting still life’s of beaten up baseballs. These still lifes to me were a metaphor of life. The baseballs were all of us. They are beaten and chewed up and they are still here. It seemed so obvious to me that Fausto and Len were the real life versions of my still life metaphor. I began to think about my own anguishes that I had experienced in my lifetime. I would always bounce back and get back to work as soon as possible. For an artist, being back in our studio is our true rehab. This realization of how I (and my artist friends) deal with adversity in our lives is how I began to take photographic portraits of artists in their studio (rehab).

*All portraits are taken in the artist’s studio/workspace.

Michelle Harpster-Loss

2018 Digital Image