Visual AIDS Visual AIDS Visual AIDS 15h Annual Postcards From the Edge, January 25-27, 2013 The Body
Visual AIDS
Visual AIDS
  curator's statement february 2012 selection
      Visual AIDS

Richard Haines
Portrait by Martin Adolfsson
t h i s  b e l o n g s  t o  u s
c u r a t o r :  r i c h a r d  h a i n e s

It has taken me a long time to write this -- like months. I kept thinking, "Who the hell am I to write about art? I'm a fashion person."

But then I argued with myself, "True, but you are also an artist, and you love drawing, and, more importantly, you're 60 and you lost some of your dearest friends and pretty much all your peers through HIV/AIDS ..."

"I have earned my seat at this table."

So with that conversation out of the way, I can now dive into the work I selected. I'm overwhelmed at the talent from which I made this selection. As I looked through the archive so many memories came rushing at me. Maybe this is why it's taken so long to curate this Web gallery. It's incredibly painful to relive this amount of loss. This is my generation. I get the references, the styles. But now the work is everyone's generation, it belongs to all of us. That's part of the great beauty of art.

I selected all portraits; as an artist who works in portraiture, I find them so compelling. A portrait exposes so much. The sitter is revealed, the artist reveals much about himself, and a moment is captured. It gives not only a sense of the people, but also the time, where they lived, what people expected of a portrait, how did things look then.

I stop and think of the amount of creativity present in the work -- all these images hold so much strength, and still resonate now. The artists share themselves with us -- who they wanted to be, who they insist on being, vibrant, relevant, and remembered. The physical power of David Abbott's Mike, the electric charge of voyeurism in Nelson Edwin Rodriguez's Untitled (Self Portrait), and the chic of Eric Molnar's Social Studies.

I have no idea about my mortality, when it will happen, or how. But I hope people will find in my work what I have found here: a narrative, a relevance beyond the artist's time, passion, humor, depth, courage and a bid at immortality, a way to say "I was here, and I want you to know that."

b i o g r a p h y

Richard Haines often refers to New York City as an endless runway; befitting of a man who moved to the big city to pursue illustration, became a successful fashion designer, and who has come full circle as one of today's most sought after fashion illustrators. In fact, many look to Haines as the impetus of fashion illustration's resurging popularity today.

His illustrations regularly grace the pages of InStyle Magazine and his wildly popular website, What I Saw Today, which features his personal and professional works, has received accolades from respected critics at Paper Magazine, New York Magazine,, and, to name just a few. It is not uncommon to see Haines seated front row at fashion week's most desirable shows busily sketching images for magazines and blogs who hire him to record what no camera is capable of capturing. In July 2009, Haines received his first solo show at one of the Lower East Side's most respected galleries, Envoy Enterprises.


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