Robert Schefman
A portrait of a man, naked, seated in a wooden chair, his back to the viewer and facing a canvas wall, on which dried flowers, hand-written letters, photographs and toys are hung.

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In Love with My Best Friend
Collection of Michael Farrell and Marc Herrick

The artist Robert Schefman relied on social media to solicit subject matter for “The Secrets Project.” After asking people to disclose “one personal secret,” he received hundreds of responses with specific stories and common themes of love, loss, and yearning. Respondents were not only enthusiastic about the call but also expressed their sense of relief in divulging their closely protected feelings and thoughts.

In Love with My Best Friend, which explores the experience of revealing one’s most guarded secrets with a stranger, is a composite of different stories shared with Schefman. The painting considers the cathartic effects of these private, anonymous exchanges and represents the letter writers with this single figure. Letters, postcards, toys, and bouquets of roses allude to the unrequited relationships.