Pancake Press: Patrick Smith
Recent Works

Works on Canvas

The Guitar Series

Portraits from a Hospice

Works on Paper

  all images 2003
  Patrick Smith.
  All rights reserved.

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Portraits from a Hospice

Giorgio Viva 2 Sam Ruth Alicia 2 LIFEnearDEATH catalog

Artist's Statement

This series of portraits shows the faces of patients living in a hospice. The patients are of many ages, from early forties to late eighties. They are dying of various illnesses — stroke, congestive heart disease, emphysema, cancer, AIDS, alcoholism, drug addiction — and of simple old age. Most of the people in the portraits are now dead. A few live on bearing the daily effort of life. Some are vividly aware of their condition, some are in dementia or wandering the dreamy labyrinth of final days. Some are on the private, knowing journey through medicated pain. The portraits are meant to show that life does not surrender itself until the only the final moment; and to dream that, in a way, no one dies because there is no land between life and death. There is the ultimate heroism, and then the rest.