Damien James

Cyntoia Brown
brush tip marker and Sharpie on watercolor paper
30 x 22 in.

This portrait of Cyntoia Brown is from a developing body of work entitled Facing the Music, in which portraits of humans of significance (Emmett Till, Vandana Shiva, Jack Kevorkian, etc.) are paired with lyrics from contemporary music; in this case, Cyntoia holds an orange booking placard (the color of prison jumpsuits) which reads “how did I get here,” the Talking Heads lyric from the song “Once in a Lifetime.” It is my intention with this work to highlight the youth, confusion, and innocence of Cyntoia Brown, a woman I feel has been severely mistreated by a broken judicial system.

© Damien James