This is a portrait of Taylor's friend Will Gillespie, nephew of the American jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, painted—like many of the artist's portraits—in a single sitting of less than two hours. Taylor incorporated personal details such as Gillespie's necklace and folded hands, meant to symbolize his identification as a practicing Buddhist. While evoking traditional portraiture, Taylor paints in a loose and intuitive style that is intensely individual. He took up painting late in life after working an assortment of odd jobs, including ten years as a psychiatric nurse; he worked at a state hospital while, eventually, pursuing studies at the California Institute of the Arts.
Gallery label from 2013