It is my friend Marik. I was going to paint his portrait back in 2015, when we were both in the hospital. As planned it was going to be one of the “Hold your breath” paintings. But we both were going through the chemical therapy so, as a side effect of it, we were quite emotional. We had some stupid quarrel about politics. And I decided not to make his portrait. Time went on. We overcame the issue. But it was too late.
Marik died on 14th July 2016.
For me it was always an unfinished story. Marik was very stigmatized. No one knew he had TB, only his mother and us, his hospital friends. I wish I could go back in time and save him. I wish I would know everything I know about TB back then, so I could help him.
According to WHO every 20 seconds we lose someone to TB in the world. For me it turned to be very personal, because my friend is one of those millions who died. A friend who was turning each day in the hospital into some fun.