Michael J. Peery

In this Portrait of Eugene O’Neill, I wanted to convey the idea of duality. In theatre, this duality is symbolized by the ancient Comedy/Tragedy masks, and in choosing O’Neill, one the nation's most beloved writers and himself a symbol of theatre, this idea of duality now becomes, in part, a reinterpretation of those masks. The image of two opposing emotions transposed one atop the other generates a sense of discomfort and uncertainty in the viewer and in many ways will challenge people's preconceived notions of that symbol, our own duality, and how we want to imagine Eugene O’Neill to be. (The smile, by the way, is his own.)

—Michael J. Peery
Click here for full-size