Don’t shrink from that gaze
In that hundredth hour of knowing someone and finally seeing them, whether it be from hearing their shameless laughter, how they enforce personal boundaries, or perhaps it’s finally the right moment to put on that particular album – the subjects of Edin Jahic’s blunt and brutal portraits are revealed.
The 17 year old illustrator from Boise, ID, sketches his subjects simply enough, and at first glance my assumptive first impressions impose themselves as they would on any living person. I could call his technique essential, sparse, and each face might fall into a comfortable judgment I make about the type of person it belongs to.
But that’s not how I want to treat people, and Jahic graciously allows me to regard his portraits, not as labels, but as portals to each’s uniqueness. Sure, were there but paper and pencil marks their souls might seem black and white enough. But the splashes of colour, emotional and graphic and vividly unconcealable, are so striking as to suggest a mortal wound, tangible hope, or some other birthright of every single person’s humanity. These images evoke a depth of experience and sentiment, and of unity, that normally I would only be privy to in a long time coming heart-to-heart.
Whether the moment of revelation serves a farewell or a growing closer, or perhaps it serves the line between the two incestuous halves of paradox, it stares back at me in a gaze that demands my respect, that demands my equally honest gaze in return. After looking away, in that hundredth hour, the long-awaited moment with my self finally arrives.