"My work brings forth the weathered faces of poverty. The inconsistencies of a homeless man's life and the fragility of my materials (cardboard), are overshadowed by an enduring friendship and spiritual connection I share with whom I paint. Surrendering my artistic talent to the portrayal of the needy enables me to contribute to the restoration of their lost and broken dignity.""Putting a name and a face to the disadvantaged moves people closer to the unsettling levels of homelessness found within our affluent community. The extensive color palate and immense scale represents the complexity and value of each individual. My work does not offer an end to poverty. These portraits rest in the possibility that viewers might personally acknowledge these invisible citizens with compassion that moves beyond flipping a coin to a beggar."
James Dean Erickson is an undergraduate art student at the University of Virginia.