The Word Portrait Project

The word portrait project is part private commission, part performance piece. Artist Derrick Hickman works in collaboration with clients to bring their personal stories to life in the form of enlarged colorful text abstractions. The art is both exposing and cryptic. Viewers are drawn into the paintings by their size and appealing palette while at the same time being held back by the confusion of twisted letters and color patterns.

The client provides a written story that is meaningful and revealing and then Derrick Hickman creates a visual re-telling of their story. The abstraction of line, editing of content and selection of color patterns are meant to mimic the relationship of story teller and audience. The inability to control meaning and interpretation as your story gets told and re-told. Clients are able to commission their portrait in three different sizes through the word portrait project website. Commissions typically can be completed and shipped within four weeks. More information can be found at

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