John Ahearn

New York City, NY
The Rodriguez Twins
Acrylic paint over plaster (diptych), 2014
Collection of the artist

 

John Ahearn, often in collaboration with sculptor Rigoberto Torres, has been making hand-painted plaster portraits created from life casts since the late 1970s. His subjects are usually neighbors who live near his studio, initially in the South Bronx and then in Spanish Harlem. Ahearn gives copies of the portraits to his subjects, creating a collection of his work throughout his neighborhood, in contrast to the portraits he keeps and exhibits in commercial galleries in Manhattan and beyond. When making a recent likeness of fellow artist Devon Rodriguez, Ahearn began to think about his own existence as a twin (his brother, Charlie Ahearn, is a filmmaker) and decided to create a pair of portraits instead of a single depiction.