Fortitude: Portraits of the Perseverant is a collection of large-scale portrait paintings depicting the complexity of human experience through the lens of the intimate, personal, and specific. The subjects are possessors of fortitude – the courage to persevere when faced with pain or adversity. Painted on loose unstretched canvases, these life-size, full-body portraits imply ambiguous narratives; viewers are faced with reconsidering their first impressions. These works elevate the assumed mundane and invite viewers to look more deeply and compassionately at their fellow human beings. Without revealing the details of each subject’s story, these works allow the viewer to contemplate the meaning of fortitude and the circumstances under which it is ignored, acknowledged, or celebrated.
©2017 Natalie Voelker