"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Friday, April 17, 2020

Juan Carlos Vázquez Argüelles

Hidden Wounds 

This 2017 portrait of Juan Carlos Vázquez Argüelles entitled “Hidden Wounds” by Luis Álvarez Roure is part of The Outwin 2019 exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. It remains in the collection of the artist.
A man in a U.S. Navy uniform stands at attention against the red and white stripes of an American flag. With his chin lifted and his gaze directed toward the distance, he appears to be awaiting an order, ready to accomplish a mission. Portraitist Luis Ålvarez Roure painted this likeness of Juan Carlos Vázquez Argüelles, his best friend since childhood, shortly after the latter returned from war. The artist honors his friend while recognizing that after multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, “he is the same, but different at the same time.... His pain and his wounds are hidden!”  In his realist portraits, Álvarez Roure employs expressive techniques and uses light and shadow to dramatic effect. In Hidden Wounds, the broad brushstrokes on the vertically oriented flag and the shadow covering half of the sitter's face work together to evoke his friend's invisible scars. -- NPG

Roure himself took this photo of  his portrait in the exhibit.

“I can hardly express the deep emotion and the honored I felt when I saw my painting of my childhood friend Juan Carlos Vazquez Argüelles, standing alone, at the entrance of the Outwin 2019. Thank you Kim Sajet, Taína Caragol and Dorothy Moss and all the jurors and the National Portrait Gallery for giving the art of the living artists to the people.” -- Luis Álvarez Roure

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