After the fire of 2014 destroyed my entire life's work, I didn't know where to begin nor what direction to take in order to start painting again. I felt that I needed to give myself time to process what had happened. And yet when I relocated to Washington Heights, where I grew up and where once before I had arrived with nothing as an immigrant; I turned to painting random portraits with ink and acrylic, drawn with pieces of charcoal that I picked up from the ashes of my former studio. The subjects were selected as I encountered them, not thinking of attachments or aversions, the idea was to work and not be creatively paralyzed by the trauma and loss. The entire process actually felt like nonobjective free-writing. They are a glimpse into my creative process at that moment in time, but I also see them as optimistic tributes to lost works transformed into resilient icons through the subjects depicted.