Local artist's painting on the way to Smithsonian gallery

May 18, 2012
Randy Hallman '70

Martin PortraitRICHMOND, Va. -- When Richmond artist Louis Briel began his portrait of David N. Martin, co-founder of The Martin Agency, what he intended was a painting of Martin standing.

"I don't think I ever told David this. It may surprise him," Briel said. "I was unable to impart the body language so that it felt right. ... I was thinking, 'What can I do to rescue this failed painting?' "

Briel's solution was to paint over Martin's lower body and switch to a painting within a painting. Martin's image looks out from a frame hanging on a blue wall - not quite contained. His tie hangs out of the bottom of the frame. Smoke from his pipe floats out of one side. It's as though Martin's own energetic creativity can't be bound.

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Editor's Note

Louis Briel H-SC Class of 1966
David Martin, H-SC Class of 1952
John Adams. H-SC Class of 1971
Randy Hallman, H-SC Class of 1970