Posted by on October 24, 2012

Working as a art director I am on studio lots quite a bit. I often recognize actors and musicians as we go about our respective jobs. One of the hardest things to get used to is remembering how I know someone when I recognize them. I (of course) don’t have this problem with really famous people, but character actors, or people who have had a long running returning role as a supporting character… Let’s just say I have embarrassed myself. When I first started working, I met Abraham Benrubi on a set and I thought I really knew him, like he was a friend of a friend or something. After that incident I have censored myself. Unless I am positive that I can remember a real life interaction with someone, I don’t say anything.

The flip side of that is when I see someone on TV and I keep wondering how I know that actor. I try to remember what other roles I am remembering them in, but keep drawing a blank. Then, sometimes days later, I realize that I actually do know them. That actor actually is a friend of a friend, or someone I went to school with.

This, however, was a first.

This is a painting by Jason Shawn Alexander. The model, Windell Middlebrooks, is an actor that I went to grad school with. He was in my thesis production, Seven Guitars.

I stopped short when I saw this painting. I recognized him immediately. Mr. Alexander has done a wonderful job of distilling his personality onto canvas. I know those looks.

This painting is less intimate, Windell is not looking directly at the viewer, but it is no less successful.

After catching my breath, I looked around Mr. Alexander’s website for a while. He has plenty of amazing paintings, and I don’t doubt that the personalities of his other subjects are rendered just as perfectly as Windell’s.

He has a gift.

Jason Shawn Alexander has a show up right now at 101 Exhibit on Melrose in LA.

All images from Jason Shawn Alexander’s website

via Booooooom

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