BARON ~ A Creation, Oil on Canvas 48x36"
Upon first meeting Baron I knew he was a person whose visage required immortalization through portraiture because onlookers always ask "Who is he?"
Baron describes himself as a "creation" and says the lyrics from the song "Nature Boy" by Eden Ahbez, best express the sentiments of his life's journey. Beautifully sung by Nat King Cole here.
"There was a boy, a very strange enchanted boy. They say he wandered very far, very far, over land and sea. A little shy and sad of eye, but very wise was he. And then one day, a magic day he passed my way. And while we spoke of many things, Fools and Kings, this he said to me. "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
Baron had a difficult and complicated life. He experienced trauma from his stepfather at a young age, ridicule and cruelty by his peers for being different and mental/emotional instability that was accompanied by controversial institutional therapeutic practices.
He incurred ostracism by society when diagnosed with HIV aids in the early years, followed by an addiction to pharmaceutical drugs for chronic and severe pain.
The old adage "Don't judge a book by its cover" applies to him as Baron has successfully recreated himself with the help of a loving friend. He seeks to be in the world, free from prescription drugs, cigarettes and self-destructive habits, sharing himself and his life lessons with the friends who choose to love him as he is, and to be loved in return.
I painted Baron in his boudoir where he meticulously created himself for this portrait. Haute Couture stylings by Versace, Make-up by Lancome, fragrance by Gucci, jewelry by Debeers. Framed Pablo Picasso print of Girl with Red Beret hanging on the wall.
Gold paint figures prominantly throughout the painting process, starting with the under painting and continuing into the flesh tones, accoutrements and atmosphere. This gives the painting the luster and refinement that Baron exudes in life.
The painting was inspired from this photograph of Oscar Wilde by Napolean Sarony and Barons love of Wilde's story "A Picture of Dorian Gray."
Oscar Wilde-1882 by Napolean Sarony
B A R O N ~ A Creation is on display at the La Jolla Public Library from December 5, 2012 to February 26, 2013 during the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library Faculty Exhibition. Artists Reception is January 13, from 2-4 p.m. La Jolla Library, 7555 Draper Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037. 858-552-1657. www.lajollalibrary.org