“Thank the work of our hands: weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait, or the last floor on the Freedom Tower jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.” This is an excerpt from “One Today,” the inaugural poem read yesterday by Richard Blanko
In yesterday’s inauguration, this poem resonated with me as Blanko included my profession among the many noble vocations performed by the people of our great country–namely portraiture.
It made me wonder about the many portraits I have been honored to paint over the years and where they are now. Where will your portrait end up? And what is the true purpose for having a portrait? Some consider it a simple vanity and never give it a second thought. Others admire the subject and aspire to one day deserve such an honor in the service they perform for their fellow man with their life’s work. Or perhaps they just want to celebrate the love they have for the people who matter to them.
For most of my sitters, with whom I am still in contact over the past thirty years, their portrait has become on of their most precious possession, increasingly so over time. Where will your portrait end up a hundred years from now? Certainly, my goal is that it end up in a museum, if not the Louvre, at least the museum of your family’s or company’s fondest treasures. That is my mission. That is my commitment.