In 1953, Don Bachardy met the renowned British literary figure, Christopher Isherwood, on the beach in Santa Monica, and they remained a devoted couple until the author’s death in 1986.
Their home in Santa Monica Canyon became a salon for the local art world as well as a mecca for artists, writers, and musicians visiting from abroad. Since then, Bachardy has become one of the most celebrated portrait artists of our time, always working from life, never from photographs. His illustrious subjects include, Aldous Huxley, Dorothy Parker, Igor Stravinsky, Joan Didion, Ed Ruscha, Jack Nicholson, Allen Ginsberg, Katherine Hepburn, Elton John, and Francis Bacon.
The list is endless but, as Bachardy notes, “when a scheduled sitter has cancelled a sitting at the last moment…if I have a strong urge to work and can find no one ready to sit at short notice, I sometimes set up a mirror and paint myself.” Perhaps because they are free of a sitter’s expectations, Bachardy’s self-portraits manifest an extraordinary range of artistic exploration. This exhibition will include 15 self-portraits made within the past three years, all vastly different, but all sharing Bachardy’s penetrating eyes.