Artist: Asher Liftin
"The portrait of the man with a cigarette is an image dispersed through media outlets. The previously private image was released in a questionable manner with others that were supposedly found on a laptop. This recognizable photographic reference nods to Edvard Munch’s self-portrait with a cigarette that was a common motif in the late 18th to early 19th centuries. The cigarette was associated with a romantic intellectualism. These associations have since changed and now a self-portrait (the photograph is a “selfie”) with a cigarette represents poor character or negative behavior.
The interplay of the digital and the painted is very important in the work. Black and white images are associated with a more objective visual interpretation."