|Jimmy Reagan, Study on Eyes - 2009|
There is an ancient belief that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Jimmy's images all seem to make interesting statements with their eyes. What the statement actually is, one can only guess. In those with autism, eye contact is often absent. In Jimmy's case of regressive onset autism, he lost his ability to make eye contact.
When Jimmy was about 15 months old, I commissioned a portrait of the then 3 children for Brian for Christmas. The pencil detail of Jimmy in the Reagan children drawing shown here, illustrates a giggly Jimmy with eyes looking directly at the viewer. In fact, the artist who created the image of Jimmy commented that he had never drawn a more engaging child than Jimmy -"Jimmy has unbelievable eye contact," the artist remarked. I was so proud of this compliment. Yet, I thought the term "eye contact" was odd. Strangely, I had never heard the words "eye contact" before.
|Artist drawing of Jimmy Reagan at 15 months|
|Mona Lisa with Stars, Oil Pastel on Paper 2011|
His study of the eye illustrates that Jimmy chooses to show little detail in the eyes of the many portraits that he has created. The starkness of ill defined singularly colored eyes has a dramatic impact on his images. When I suggest that he add more detail in the eyes...he almost always ignores me. He is deliberate when creating eyes and it is usually the first part of an image he works on. I always wonder what he is thinking ......