Tim O’Brien

Go find a portrait of Eugene O’Neill that doesn’t look like the face of sorrow. Of course, the speed of most cameras of the time required the face to remain still. Most subjects would choose a placid, still face but he locked into a stare that often looked like windows into torment. When I thought of painting O’Neill I wanted to do what I often try to do with portraits; remove obvious emotion allowing the viewer to apply any feeling they might have. A ‘Mona Lisa smile’ but not quite. This is what I was shooting for. No one wants to see an image of O’Neill laughing. The idea that the man IS his writing seems to be a myth many hold dear.

—Tim O’Brien
Illustrator and Painter
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