This is a portrait series of 52 homeless individuals between the ages of 15 and 25 living in the city of Los Angeles. I have had the honor to be a long time volunteer and community member of My Friend’s Place, a resource center in Hollywood for young people experiencing homelessness. My time at MFP allowed me a chance to get to know the humanity of society’s ghost of the outskirts tucked in tents along the freeway. Unique beautiful individuals I wanted to honor. The drawing sessions occurred once a week for a year. We’d sit about three feet apart while I would draw with oil pastels on 36”x24” bristol board and exchange stories, share philosophies, listen to music, or just stare at each other in silence. I would pay them for their art modeling gig after I revealed the drawing to them, holding my breath, yet always met with kindness and awe and excitement for seeing themselves interpreted by an artist.
The text on the drawing is an answer to the question “Where are you going tonight?” The part of the series evolved from empathetic outrage from my mother regarding so many young folks living on the streets asking me “But where do they go AT NIGHT?” and later suggested I ask each young person that question and write it under the drawing. MFP is very protective of their demographic so I asked Camilla head of the transformative education program at MFP her thoughts about this personal and vulnerable question and sharing the answer under the drawing. She thought I meant under and in the actual drawing materials.