This interesting, early self-portrait, was probably painted when the artist was trying to rehabilitate himself after his tragic parachuting accident.
Unusual positioning of the face on the canvas was probably the result of the artist ‘practising’ how to paint faces. He may have used a mirror to paint his reflection. Facial proportions are very different to his later painting where most features are exaggerated.
It is a highly textured painting and the artist has used mainly blue, grey and pink tints. Though few colours are used, tonal contrast has been achieved. Brushwork is thick and paints appear as if they have been pasted on the canvas.
By expressing himself in this manner, the artist, with frown lines on his forehead, wrinkled brow, sagging eyelids and closed eyes was able to portray his tiredness and pain as only he could understand it.
As there is no upper body attached to the head, the artist may have been attempting to disconnect himself from his physical state.
This painting gives insight into the artist’s life, and is a sensitive painting.
Acrylic on Masonite, late 1970s. (Cleaned and framed.)