It's kind of silly, but I want to explain my avatar. Several people have asked about it - I thought maybe someone would get the silly connection, but if anyone has, they haven't mentioned it. It all started, long ago (2006, probably) when I was in art school. I found an old 19th century photo of my art school buddy Pandora Rupert Santos.
I decided I wanted one too. She's much more free and outrageous than I am, so it had to be something simpler, quieter, but I wanted it to have lots of drama, anyway. I'd been reading a book that referenced Nadar, the french photographer - and I adored him, and I ran across this photo of Sarah Bernhardt - and there I was. It's a play on words, the period and look of the woman was right, so I've become attached ever since.
I sort of put her in a category with other women I deeply admire like Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. I can't say exactly why - it's their power and vulnerability and universal truth sharply pressing through the campiness. It moves me incredibly. I made a painting last year, inspired by these great women, and titled it after the music of another great woman - Dusty Springfield - Anyone Who Had A Heart (and if I remember right another great vulnerable dramatic woman, Amy Winehouse covered this song) I love that there are so many images of Sarah Bernhardt too. She was photographed, painted by great artists. I don't know why that aspect of her appeals to me - maybe it's because I shyly crave attention.