German painter Thomas Ganter introduces us to the “everywoman” of health in this arresting portrait. Bringing a sensitive brush and a keen eye for detail, The Unknown Health Worker represents those women and men in every country who do their best to reach families and offer life-saving services including immunization. The portrait is inspired by a photograph of a health worker in eastern Nepal, who was in the midst of climbing up and down steep hillsides in the Himalayas to reach all children with measles, rubella and polio vaccines. She carries the vaccines in the cold box slung on her shoulder. Thomas spent countless hours tending to each detail of this piece, which measures about 5 feet in height.
“My aim was to paint a ‘monument’ for the unknown health worker, to appreciate their hard work and their importance for us all.”
Thomas Ganter is an artist guided by his own inspiration and interests. His highly detailed portraits focus on revealing the intense emotions in his subjects. He won the prestigious BP Portrait Prize in 2014 for his luminous “Man with a Plaid Blanket” – a portrait of Karel, a homeless man. Learn more about Thomas Ganter.
Photo credit: Daniel Moßbrucker
Have a look at photos of Thomas at work on The Unknown Health Worker in his Frankfurt studio.
All photos courtesy Daniel Moßbrucker.