"Dead Dove: Do Not Eat" by Kiera Sitzer, BFAH
Dead Dove: Do Not Eat
Kiera Sitzer, BFAH
60" x 48"
Oil on canvas
I met a young man that inherently felt like pure energy. I felt an immediate connection to him and began to formulate an understanding of how Christians related to, and felt, about Jesus. I intended to capture his energy and pureness, while simultaneously introducing a contemporary likeness of Jesus. I wanted to exemplify a Jesus that was not only accepting of differences, but was also a representation of those same differences as well; Jesus as the embodiment of change and individuality. Donavan Williams, the subject of this portrait, is a proud, gay, black man. Because of both the racial and sexual identity of Donavan, the work also speaks to the separatist, exclusive nature of Christianity, and how religion is tethered to race, gender, and sexuality related bonds. Portrait painting is intimate to me, both in the time spent with the subject as well as ensuring that subject has the visual advocacy to communicate a message. The subject is hurt, but to me it is what he looks out at from the canvas that causes him pain. Donavan, as Jesus, looks out sombrely at the viewer to ask them, are you leading a life of love?

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