Nearly a year ago, a stranger named Peter emailed me to say he had sketched a drawing of me and wanted to mail it over. I was surprised to receive a package from New Zealand.
A month ago he wrote again to say he had painted a portrait of me. It was time to start Googling around.
Peter turned out to be Peter Stichbury, an accomplished artist who, according to Wikipedia, is most reknown for intricate yet flat portraits of models and modern beauties sourced from contemporary media images, which he reworks to create abhorrently exquisite doe eyed specimens both startlingly attractive and awkwardly ugly. His work also explores those who don't measure up to conventional beauty ideals and who are therefore rendered socially invisible: misfits, outsiders and intellectuals.
This is all very strange and thrilling and beautiful. I've quickly become an infatuated fan of his portraiture and am flattered to have been included.
(The painting is inspired by a photo taken by Noah Kalina which first appeared on my homepage.)
Update Jan 27, 2009:
* The painting was exhibited at the Art LA fair Jan 24-26
*I received an email after the buyer Googled the painting title 'Zach Klein' and found my homepage: "We just bought you ... Your new home will be in a mid-century modern house in Santa Monica, CA."
*I received another email from the same person a few days later: "This is getting weirder and weirder....are you from Fort Wayne, Indiana? Because I'm from Fort Wayne."
*It turns out the buyers grew up less than 1 mile from where I did, although she moved away before I was born. She attended the same high school where my siblings graduated. She's now a fashion entrepreneur in LA.
*She later wrote back "Maybe that's why I was so attracted to your portrait....There is something very nostalgic in it for me." I like the idea that I'm metaphysically linked to that place and it remained intact in Peter's rendering.