Portrait of David Rakoff
AUGUST 1, 2013
David Rakoff was an author and actor who passed away recently. If you listen to This American Life, or Wiretap (CBC), as I do, you probably have an appreciation of his wit and humanity. Rakoff described himself as a "New York writer" who also happened to be a "Canadian writer", a "mega Jewish writer", a "gay writer" and an "East Asian Studies major who has forgotten most of his Japanese" writer. What an incredible mix! In the last few years of his life, he battled cancer. He bravely performed, and even danced on stage, after losing the ability to move his left arm. He was a gutsy, funny man who stared death in the face and kept on going as long as he could. His last novel Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish was published posthumously and is reviewed in the latest issue of The Walrus.
I don't get the chance to do a lot of portraits. Drawing someone, capturing their personality and charms with a few lines can be a real challenge. Paying homage to someone whose work you respect and has passed away adds another layer of complexity. Thanks to Paul Kim for the assignment!