Degas, forever caught between his loyalty to Classicism and his attraction to Impressionism was an artist who lived in the twilight zone that exists between darkness and light, stillness and movement…and it is in this space that he found his expression.

In my portrait of Edgar Degas, I attempted to paint him as I see him – a brooding figure, reflecting upon the dichotomy of his two preferences – perhaps likening himself to the phases of the moon or to day and night.

French Artist Edgar Degas - An Oil Portrait by Shafali R Anand

Portrait of French Artist Edgar Degas, Medium: Oil Painting, Artist: Shafali R. Anand, Dimensions: 2.5ft x 3ft

I painted him to feel his expression in my own work. The movement of his ballerinas reminds me of my own need to capture the motion and freeze it in the moment, and his paintings of couples and people, adumbrating emotions, take me back to the time when I was painting “Spine” or even “Re…”

I know, you’ll look at this painting and wonder…and perhaps think about things that are different from what I think about, and I know that when I return to it an year from now, I’ll be seeing in it something that I can’t see today…but isn’t that the essence of art?

For now I still live in the space between movement and stillness, and light and brightness.