Portrait of a Stranger

During the whole semester we were collecting and analyzing New York Times articles, where by choosing the portrait of the person, we had to see how this image matches the article. Juxtapositions of image and text can be very strong, and also text may lead to different interpretations of the text. At the same time photograph can change the perception of the information you read.

I happened to read this article given to us during our seminar on this topic, that i really liked it –


Also we were collecting overheard conversations during the whole semester.

Further we visited and documented few places, such as Times Square, and few protests against Trump election, near Trump towers and at Washington square.

During the term we had to read The Citizen by Claudia Rankine, Close to the Knifes by David Wojnarowicz, and Handmaids Tale by Margared Artwood and shape our perception of the human body.

All this data had to be narrowed to the choice of 5 photographs and 5 quotes.

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Further we needed to choose one, or combination of few sketches to draw on final 26” by 40” paper.

I chose selfie guys from Times square, and personally I wanted to just focus on technical part of drawing because this is what I am bad at.

I also really loved the guy who did performance with water, because of nice shadows, but selfie guys seemed like had stronger message.

I played with them in photoshop, initially I had an idea to create McDonals pattern, but right away it started to feel silly to me the moment i started to do that, I also came to appreciate how nicely they looked without busy background.


I decided that i want to out some simple quote in upper right corner, cropped the image to my liking and started to draw on big paper, while i still was thinking about quote.


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While this process was going I was thinking about the quote. Initially I planned to judge modern self-obsession on selfie culture, but further and further i worked with this drawing I realized that two past years I’ve been reading all these spiritual books that teach to be non-judgemental, and i decided to judge myself for desire being judgmental. Rumi came to mind, as he perfectly said – “The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you.”

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I photoshoped the quote, initially i wanted to have some arabic-looking font to match to Rumi’s origin, but I didn’t find anything appealing, so I ended up choosing font that has in my perception some associations with beauty.


In order to copy the same exact aesthetics into my drawing, i resized photoshop file to the same size as my drawing, cut the quote, mirrored it and printed on two sheets of paper (so i can transfer it with a pencil).



During the process i was coming back few times to the left part of the drawing to make it darker, but when i finished the whole drawing, i still needed to make it and few other spots darker.


And here is the final result –



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