COPYRIGHT © by John McDonald. All rights reserved by the artist. Any and all publishing and reproduction rights are retained solely by the artist. This image is not to be re-distributed, copied, imitated or misappropriated without written consent of the artist.
A PORTRAIT OF MY MEXICAN HEROINE BY JOHN MCDONALD
With is a strange and haunting depiction of Mexico’s most-loved artist, the beautiful wife of Diego Rivera.
This work is the counterpart to John McDonald’s sister portrait Without and continues to explore human themes of love and loss, suffering and strength, and the power of creativity to convert pain into beauty.
With was painted with tiny brushes the size of an eyeliner, and there is a kind of animal-like, almost furred approach to the skin and the face, which calls to mind aspects of human nature which are primitive and elemental.
While Without is a testament to the indomitability of the human spirit, its sister painting With sensitively explores the damaged, suffering, or even broken spirit. The shadow on the right of the face becomes a mask, a black hole, a vacuum.
And yet there is such a pure sense of empathy, that the image becomes not disturbing, but instead offers the possibility of consolation.
An outsider artist whose practice is the key to survival and relationship, following 17 years of profound deafness, John McDonald’s work declares: