As a child Bolingbroke grew up in a boarding school, rarely visiting his parents. As an adult, he was painfully aware that he lacked family, and tried to fill the void by seeking out communal living situations. Years later, when he arrived in San Francisco, he realized that he had the opportunity to create his own family. This work is a celebration and a document of his chosen family.
Drawing the figure is can be very challenging, especially for a self-taught artist, but being HIV positive, Bolingbroke was no stranger to challenges. He continued to draw and his skills improved. In late 2006 Bolingbroke asked his husband to come and sit for a portrait. The resulting drawing and watercolor portrait were so powerful and revelatory that Bolingbroke began to invite others to pose for him, slowly documenting 40 close friends and lovers.
The individual works are especially interesting because they reveal a marked emotional give and take between the artist and his subject. The alternately awkward and lyrical drawing style creates a tension in the works that imbues it with energy. Making these portraits is an ongoing process, as Bolingbroke works to create a fitting tribute to his family.
This exhibition was curated by Dustin Smith and Sallyanne English, of Visual Aid's X-Team.
Visual Aid is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage artists with life-threatening illnesses to continue their creative work.
Image: http://www.fullcalendar.com/IM/fc_7185_FamilyPortrait_VisualAid.cfm (with associated info)
or http://www.fullcalendar.com/im/familyportrait.jpg (image only)
Official Website: http://www.visualaid.org
Added by FullCalendar on April 18, 2008