Life carves itself into your skin and buries the years in your eyes. Specks of light and lost shadows tell of distant lives and tears.
How to capture the soul of man, and his suffering under the sky?
How to portray it?
This is the task of an artist: to capture on paper something that no word, song or dance could say or see.
With a black pen and splashes of colour, I try to draw the life that is written on a person’s face. I look for the light and lost colours, I layer shadows and scratches, I praise imperfections. The process begins when ink first stains the virgin page, but the project is never complete. For how could I possibly draw all that life is, was, and promises to be?
Benny Wenda is a truly remarkable man. He is a West Papuan freedom fighter, exiled chief and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Life has dealt him a destiny beyond what I could capture on a page. If you want to know about the heart of this man, read his story here.
I drew this for a friend whose admiration for Johnny Depp is entirely justified. I must admit that the most difficult part of this task was imagining only one character without falling into the world of chocolate factories or the fantasies of wonderland; without recalling flashing scissors or drug-fueled absurdity. Nay, there is too much talent in that man for me to ever truly portray.
This portrait I also drew for a dear friend. It’s based on a photo I spotted on the internet, but for the most part, I found his face somewhere between my imagination and the movements of my pen across the page. I can’t say much more about him, other than that I hope to one day find such a face and secret knowledge.
Perhaps then, I would be able to truly portray the suffered soul of man.