Fernando, 2006-07. Signed and dated "John Sonsini/June 13, 2006" and also signed by the sitter "Fernan Chavez" in pencil on the reverse, identified on a label from ACME, Los Angeles, affixed to the reverse. Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in., framed. Condition: Good.
Provenance: A private Massachusetts collection.
N.B. Exhibition catalogs for John Sonsini, January 10 to February 10, 2007, Cheim & Reid, New York, published in an edition of 1000, and John Sonsini: New Paintings, March 8 to April 16, 2005, Anthony Grant, Inc., New York, accompany the lot.
Sonsini is best known for his work depicting Latino day laborers in his neighborhood, the Pico-Union district in Los Angeles. In the present work, the portrait's frontal and tightly cropped frame evokes a reference to an ID portrait, raising the politically charged issue of immigration and legal documentation. Through his tactile and visceral brushwork, however, Sonsini diffuses the overt politics of this series, focusing on the humanity of his sitters. According to Sonsini, 'The information on cards in wallets is of little help to me. For me painting the portrait is about recreating the sensation of presence, the experience of having the sitter in my studio.' (1)
1. Kim Beil, "John Sonsini," Profile, Art Ltd., August 2007. Estimate $1,500-2,000
Naturally occurring pigment fluorescence; no additional condition remarks.
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