Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Old Warrior

My best portraits are invented ones, pictures of a type rather than an actual person. This is a grave admission, which will deter people considering me for lucrative jobs depicting company chairmen and rock stars. Actually rock stars I might be able to depict pretty successfully; it's their persona you need to capture, not the subtle arrangement of nose and eyes and mouth, which have probably been rearranged anyway.

This old buffer is meant as a story: the expression of regret, the background divided between his country house and the Somme. The chicken is supposed to represent a long ago moment of cowardice. Right now I am trying to remember, were there tanks at the Somme? I don't think so. And I think the stripes on his Eton tie are a little too close together.

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