My inspiration comes from so many different places, but ultimately people are my biggest inspiration, or perhaps strangers is a better word. The psychological and emotional aspects of our first encounters with them and how we construct the truth of what is presented to us in those first moments. How some ‘truths’ seem universal and others vary from person to person has always fascinated me. — Thomas J. Price
London artist Thomas J. Price creates sculptures drawn from a composite of strangers’ faces, using a classical style often reserved for memorializing significant individuals, historically white men. In Head 18, the black male face has his eyes closed, similar to funerary sculptures or direct-cast works. The white paint on acrylic mimics marble, but not perfectly, and the viewer approaches the portrait with an expectation of a backstory into the individual’s life, though none exists. By depicting contemporary black men, Price subverts a hierarchy that has defined centuries of traditional sculptural portraiture.