Georgie Arce

Georgie Arce 518 517 Sybille Sciamma

Alice Neel, Portrait of Georgie Arce 2, 1955. Photo Sotheby’s, Contemporary Art Day auction, 17 Mai 2019

Alice Neel painted numerous times
her young neighbour Georgie Arce
from childhood to teenage years

eventually he was convicted of murder
and spent years in prison

in this visionary 1955 portrait
she captured the tragedy of his fate,
a young boy in Spanish Harlem

as he seats, still a child
his grip tight on a rubber knife
a deep crease in his brow
his gaze defiant and sad

« I have tried to assert the dignity and eternal importance of the human being. »

Alice Neel, Interview by Mike Gold, Daily Worker Newspaper, 1950. Quoted in Daily Art Magazine, Alice Neel, Collector of souls

Alice Neel, Georgie Arce 1, 1955, Estate of Alice Neel, David Zwirner, New York/London; Private Collection