The Sentence is a painting about the early days in prison. There were no rehab programs, there were no programs at all.
A young man came in and he was only doing 6 months on drug charges, and he had stopped taking drugs and had cleaned himself up. Because you could still get drugs in jail, but he wasn’t having any part of it.
He then knew that because he couldn’t get any help in jail, once he went out of jail, he would get back onto the drugs or get caught with stealing, then whatever. Then end up back in jail.
It was that hopelessness type situation where a lot of people were asking for help, but everyone starred at him – “don’t know what you are talking about”. And in this painting you will see people with their eyes closed- that was a typical thing when people were lying to you that they would look away or close their eyes while they were talking to you.
The green thing on his back is referring to the monkey on your back – this specifically relating to a Heroin.
6 months after he was released, he was found dead from an overdose, so that was the end of that story. That was what made me do the painting. All the faces in it are all real people.
Every one of them posed for me.