I'm not a portrait painter: I don't paint realistic features and I don't look for photographic similarities. When a portrait is commissioned to me, I proceed like the protagonist of a famous book by Murakami: a meeting and a long, intimate interview. What emerges can sometimes be the representation of a character, often in the form of an animal, or the effigy of how the client imagines himself: perhaps even an Ottoman sultan or a mermaid.
“- At the thought of being painted, little by little, one gets the impression that our soul is being taken away from us -
- Not taken away but moved elsewhere, which after all, if one thinks about it, is a good definition of art,- I replied.”
- Moved to a more permanent location, that is?
- Sure, if the portrait is a work of art, yes.”
Murakami, "Killing Commendatore"