The Final Touch
My models for this painting are from a photo I took in the neighborhood, pre-COVID-19. They had been serene and self-assured, moving with certainty, in my unfinished painting from a while ago. When I recently revisited the work, it seemed that they — the figures — were asking for an update. A small one, really, but an update that these times in the real world seemed to demand. They needed masks.
After I gave them their masks, the painting seemed to present larger questions as to what it implies, and it evoked feelings of disquiet and uncertainty. Are they too close to each other? Should there be more distancing? If there had been an exchange of greetings and hugs before they wore the masks, what would they have done in our current circumstances? An elbow bump? A smile? Or avoidance… Would their smiles shine through the masks, I asked myself, when I finished the painting.
COVID-19 has changed the painting, as it has changed us. This is such a trying time, but still we hope smiles will shine through.
Copyright © 2020 Jennifer Wu
Jennifer Wu is a painter and a computer programmer living in Seattle, Washington. Her work is sourced from her everyday surroundings, simplified, abstracted, sometimes remaining very recognizable locally, sometimes becoming a land/shape of its own. Her works are mostly water-media, but lately she has been working on lots of digital experiments. Making art digitally is particularly dear to her, excites her and invokes her programmer instinct from time to time. She says, “When it excites me, it excites my viewers.”