Kim McDaniel

My work focuses on portraiture as a means of connecting with humans in a way that is usually impossible in daily life. It starts with a story, a human condition that moved me. I usually choose my subjects out of sympathy and the desire to heal them. I seek to build their story and their soul into the canvas. Building their form onto the canvas, I touch every curve of their face, their body, every fold of the fabric. It is a very intimate experience and infinite conversations evolve in that space of silence. It is a ritualistic effort to heal their broken hearts, broken dreams, pay homage to and lift up in celebration their indestructible hope, their immense spirit.

Regardless of the story, a powerful soul to be reckoned with emerges from the canvas triumphant. With every piece there comes a moment when I question who is healing whom and the lines between the subject and myself disappear. After all, these are conditions present in some form in all of us and in that way each piece allows me to connect with those fundamental human elements that unite us all. Each piece is an effort to invite my viewers to join me in embracing our ugliness, our beauty, our triumphs and tragedies, the memories and stories we use to define ourselves – and then let it all go. If I am successful and that spark of connection is made, as an artist there is no greater happiness.