Bo Bartlett
An older couple sitting together on a couch.

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Collection of the artist

Inheritance is a portrait of my parents. I painted it from life in the living room of my childhood home in Columbus, Georgia. My father was a furniture designer and woodworker. My mother was a medical librarian. One of my first memories is of my father critiquing a drawing I did of a clown juggling. He said I’d drawn it “wrong” because I didn’t have the balls in the “right place.” There are fallen juggling balls on the floor of the portrait. The upturned chair suggests my mother’s silent suffering during domestic struggles. My son is a social media and performance artist. Unbeknownst to me, he paid homage to Yoko Ono by writing “yes” on the primed canvas. I decided to keep his affirmation. It can be seen on the back of the loveseat. My father passed in May 2012. In a way, the painting is a collaborative portrait of three generations.