I painted this 18 years ago. It’s a self portrait that is almost always met with the adjective, “disturbing”. When asked who that is on my back, I’d say that it’s the real me; perhaps even more disturbing. I was onto my own game at 23 years old. I couldn’t really see from inside, how I’d become trapped, I just knew I was. I attacked this crafted version of self, imaginary guards standing by to make sure I wouldn’t break under my own critique, no matter how harsh. I was sure that I couldn’t truly express myself and the pressure was building. I can feel the pain of that in recollection. It’s easier now. These two have become close friends, despite their flaws.