My Mother’s Perch

Jordan Harp
Greensboro, NC United States
Painting: Oil

This painting captures a very candid moment of my mother on our front porch, smoking a cigarette and reading a book. She looks out with an unsettling expression of confusion and concern. This painting, like “Falling Asleep”, was made in the early days of the pandemic where my mother’s anxiety ignited faster than she could burn through a pack of cigarettes bought to help squander it. While this is a portrait of my mother, it is at once a portrait of myself as well. Alongside “Falling Asleep”, it is clear that both mine and my mother’s portraits illuminate feelings of coping in an anxiety-stricken state of worldwide political mania and lockdown. My mother is not entirely fond of this portrait of herself, perhaps because she is captured so candidly in a time unlike any she’s seen before and to her, she is hardly recognizable. I suppose that a new normal comes with a new vision of oneself.