The unfortunate Ian Rakich—COVID-19 case #7

Michael O'Connell

Artist Statement
We are living in strange and uncertain times. The long-embraced rituals of greeting friends are now acts of restrained caution. Caution is the new norm. Unfortunately, Ian Rakich, a respected and hugely successful businessman, ex-sportsman and coach, lunch specialist and friend contracted COVID-19 while travelling at the very beginning of the pandemic.

While the portrait was enjoyable to paint and has a humorous edge, this experience between old friends was only fun because Ian recovered. During sittings for the portrait, we reflected upon the pandemic’s impact on daily life and are eternally grateful that the caution that was exercised by our community has left us in good shape—well, fingers crossed.

Further Insight
Michael O’Connell is a Western Australian visual artist, living and working in North Fremantle. Working primarily as a painter, O’Connell’s practice also includes multi-media, printmaking, photography, drawing and sculpture. He divides his artistic energies between art teaching and his studio, both of which he finds inspirational and satisfying.

O’Connell is an ECU Fine Art graduate and has been painting for decades. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions both locally and nationally.

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 101.5 cm x 101.5 cm

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