The painter, Doug Auld, 52, says that if people have a chance to gaze without voyeuristic guilt at the disfigured, they may be more likely to accept them as fellow human beings, rather than as grotesques to be gawked at or turned away from.Photography already serves this function of allowing us to stare, and grotesque subjects are frequently chosen. But a painting is different, isn't it? To paint something in a detailed style like Auld's requires a great deal of time and intensely focused attention. A painting proves the artist's long stare. A photograph -- however long the photographer planned and gazed -- is only evidence of one moment.
So go ahead and stare. This is what people with burns look like. There are thousands and thousands of them, and while many shut themselves away, plenty venture out to conduct their lives.
June 18, 2006
Says one of two sisters who were severely disfigured in a house fire and have now had huge portraits painted.
Posted by Ann Althouse at 9:40 AM