Original oil painting
100 cm x 76 cm
I met Jim in Bristol in 2018. He was in a small park on his own with his tent. The park was full of homeless people who were in various groups enjoying the sun and I was struck with how lonely Jim seemed. I spoke to Jim for a long time over a period of 5 days and I got to know him well. He had suffered a traumatic life and his future was dark yet he was hopeful and he really had a passion for life.
I wanted the background to be important to this painting. I was often struck by how Andy Warhol used bright coloured squares as a background to his portraits of the rich and famous and I wanted my portrait of Jim to show how we are all rich and famous and we are all equally deserving of bright colours. The colours that I used are significant as I wanted the violet and red to match the colour of the bruising around Jims’ eye. This is a touch of irony as I am often advised by galleries that paintings should be decorative above all which is something that I strongly disagree with.