Beverly McIver
Portrait of a woman's head, lying on a surface with a depressed look upon her face.

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Collection of the artist, courtesy Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York City

This is one of several paintings made during the time of grieving my mother’s death. In 2004, my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and three months later she died. At the time, I inherited my mentally disabled sister, Renee. Although Renee is fifty-two, she has the mind-set of a third-grader. She also has epilepsy. I promised my mother that when she was no longer able to care for Renee that I would. This act deepened my depression. I felt overwhelmed and as if I had given up my life. These paintings express what I felt during that time. They portray a sense of sadness, grief, and vulnerability. This self-portrait describes the heaviness I felt.