Steven Assael, Mom, 2012-15

This deeply personal painting is about the artist’s mother on her deathbed. Assael gives us a time lapse in one scene; in a hospital bed, his mom is attached to a respirator at times, at other times no. She is usually asleep; however, she gives us a concerned look at one point. The majority of the picture plane is taken up by the bunched and swirling blankets, alluding to inner turmoil. Assael writes that the painting is “my perception of the stages and my interpretation of her perception at once of the experience.”

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