Artist requests photos for portrait project to celebrate older generation
- Credit: Julio César Osorio
An Islington artist is asking people to send him photographs of their older relatives so he can turn the picture into a painted portrait and celebrate the generation hit hardest by the pandemic.
Columbian-born artist Julio César Osorio has completed five portrait tributes in his Golden Years series so far, including a painting of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
The veteran passed away at 100 in February after testing positive for Covid and having raised almost £40 million for the NHS.
Julio told the Gazette: "I did a painting of [Captain Tom] for the great person he was, for what he did.
"But at the same time, I want to do something like that with just anybody - everyone deserves to be appreciated whether you are famous or not."
He wants to celebrate the "bravery, resilience and strength" shown by the older generation, the demographic most vulnerable to the virus which has swept across the world.
ONS statistics show the vast majority of Covid-19 deaths have been in people aged 75 years and older.
Julio said: "Since the pandemic, I started doing a series on old people because I just felt that they have been let down so badly.
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"I started with my grandmother as a kind of grievance because I lost her, and since then I have done five paintings."
Julio's grandmother passed away in April, shortly after the first lockdown came into force in March last year, but due to travel restrictions, it was impossible for the artist to go and pay his last respects.
This led him to painting a portrait of his grandmother called Stairway to Heaven and later, more portraits of older people, such as Paulette Wilson, a prominent Windrush campaigner who was wrongly detained and threatened with deportation and who passed away aged 64 last year.
Julio is asking people to send in photographs - he will choose one to paint as a portrait in his series.