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The Power of Portraiture

Bill Powers comments on the early loss of Amanda, and the lasting impression of a good portrait.

I was a little bummed that Amanda got bumped from the first episode because I really liked the idea of having someone from an architectural background in the mix. That said, I still feel like we made the right decision. Miles deserved to win, not only making Nao look drop-dead gorgeous but riffing off her drowning self-portrait and sort of muzzling her in the process with the plastic wrap. Abdi could have just as easily won with his eyes to God image of a red-hot Ryan. Impressive.

Doing portraits of each other for the first challenge was a great exercise because every painting is, in a way, a kind of self portrait revealing something about the person who made it. I always liked the Picasso quote to Gertrude Stein, who complained that she looked nothing like the portrait of her he had painted. Picasso replied, "You will, Gertrude, you will," meaning that after she was dead, the image would remain. And he was right! That's the power of portraiture.

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