Semi-finalist in the Moran Portrait Prize 2017

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At first glance the items chosen for this man's 60th birthday show a man of gravitas. The string of medals from his time in the US navy, the magazine representing his alma mater and the figurine of Lincoln, a personal hero of his. But look more closely and you'll find a copy of 'The Night Before Christmas' which he reads to his kids every festive season, a gently smoking incense stick used at his daily meditation and his favourite blueberries, piled high in an Indian Kadhai .. a bowl which bears the name of the restaurant he frequents with his family. There are many other details: the USS Constitution where he met his wife, 'The Washington Post' wishing him a happy birthday and a stamp, the smallest detail but representing his valued time as US Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The rich and varied collection of items paint a portrait of a modest, family man of the highest integrity.