For any of you who watched this news story about AS IS on Fox5 last night, you know that one of the two remaining unclaimed portraits was taken off of the street (on camera!) by someone other than the subject himself.
Here is the painting:
Here's how the portrait looked installed on the street:
OK, go back and click the orange link at the top of this post to watch the news story if you haven't already.
Now tell me friends, does the man on the bike look like the subject of this portrait? I was not there when the portrait was taken, but the flustered reporter called me to say that the man promised to send an e-mail explaining....I'll let you know when that comes through.
So how do I feel about this? Well, I did expect the unexpected with this project. I knew that it was a possibility that the portraits could be stolen. I had come to peace with that fact. I wanted these portraits to be gifts freely given.
I still do.
I also worked on the painting above for over a month and spent a lot of my own money creating it. I really, really hoped that this man would find it, and that he would know that someone noticed him...that someone thought that he was important enough to be the subject of his own portrait. And so, I am holding out hope that the person who took this painting actually knows the man it depicts...that he is holding onto it for him and looking out for him. At the very least, I hope that he is appreciating the portrait, and in so doing, appreciating the life and dignity of the man behind it.
A friend was watching the Fox5 segment and texted me as soon as it finished:
"Can I please take the suryevor home while I try to locate him? Broke my heart to see the bike guy take the painting!"
She was talking about this portrait:
It was installed here:
I pictured her running down the street in the dark.
A few minutes later, I got this text:
"He's gone. I'm sorry."