Anne Harris

Riverside, Illinois
Portrait (Red Robe)
Oil on linen, 2008–12
Collection of the artist, courtesy Alexandre Gallery, New York City

 

This painting was hard for me—wrestling with a bathrobe metaphor while facing the fact that I don’t understand red. The only thing keeping me in the game was her look. From the beginning she kept shifting from a sardonic “yeah right, you’ve got to be kidding” to a warm, amused “hang in there.”

Regarding portraiture: I’m not so interested in likeness, in this case my own, but I’m very interested in particularity, in the sensation of individuality and uniqueness, in the invitation to stare, in the tractor beam lockdown between the painting and the viewer. Most of all, I want my work to have presence. I want you to feel it. 

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