American painter Alice Neel was an inquisitive soul until her death in 1984. She was interested in everything, but first and foremost, she was interested in humanity. Through her portrait paintings, or “pictures of people,” as she preferred to call them, Neel showed her innate ability to see every person with an unbiased eye. She approached each subject as a blank canvas and would talk to the sitters while she painted, peeling away their covers, layer by layer, to reveal only the sitter’s inner self in the end.
ALICE, inspired by Alice Neel’s inquisitive eye, doubles as a “mirror”. It reminds the owner – as well as the viewer – that one should approach people and everyday life with objectivity, as we so often forget to do. Presumption is what skills curiosity. Gender, age, race and social status, these are but self-imposed obstacles to true understanding, and to truly open ourselves up to the others.
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