Learn more about the artist, Edgar Jerins.
I consider myself a storyteller. Capturing the times we are living through is one of my primary goals as an artist. My drawings depict real people—primarily my friends and family–in their natural environments.
These are people who never expected to find themselves subjects for narrative art, but whose stories need to be told. Many are struggling with addiction and mental illness. Mental illness, in particular, is rarely discussed in our public discourse, and I want to add my voice to help create a realistic view of those suffering from it. My aim is to express the hardships of my subjects’ lives in a way that isn’t hopeless or sentimental and which shows compassion for human frailty.
When possible I work from direct observation, photographing my subjects in their home environments. But my drawings merely start with images captured on film. I then heighten their reality in almost a theatrical way. My drawings, for example, are physically commanding—a scale I believe is critical to their impact on viewers. Similarly, I take great pains to position my subjects within their environment in ways that reveal and accentuate emotional resonance.