The portrait shows the head of a young man with dark hair, pronounced eyebrows and olive-toned skin. The neck of his T-shirt is partially visible. There is a certain fullness about the mouth and a crew-cut neatness to his hair, but beyond these scant facts almost nothing more of him is explicitly described, even though the image amounts to an enormous close-up – the canvas as big as a billboard.
Why is so little of this man disclosed, given the scale and apparent realism of the portrait? This has something to do with the fact that the head is lowered, so he is already an oblique presence. But he is also shown with his eyes closed as if deep in thought, or perhaps in the act of meditation or prayer.