I was asked to paint famed French footballer Thierry Henry for a patron in Dubai. My career, not unlike the careers of historical court painters like Diego Velázquez, involves memorializing the important figures of my time. Throughout art history great artists have not only captured the physical likeness of their sitter but also have emotionally recreated their spirit and essence; sometimes achieving an iconic interpretation that actually supersedes the subject's personal achievements, as in the case of David's iconic portrait of Napoleon. Portraits are invaluable. They document our epoch, and have the power to storytell in a way that even film making and photography can't replicate. Often labeled the greatest footballer of all time, Henry was an exciting subject to choose and a dynamic story to tell. His physical prowess is well-documented so I wanted to take on the challenge of showcasing more of his inner psychology and strength, to synthesize the body and the spirit. In my painting, Henry's celebratory statuesque gesture is not one searching for praise but, rather, one kneeling powerfully yet humbly looking inward as he exalts the art of the game and his team above his own accomplishments. The abstract turbulent paint strokes of cool violets, reds and grays emanate from his physical body to the collective crowd who feel the essence of unbridled greatness.