FOR THE latest cover of Time, Christine Blasey Ford is a woman of her word.
The magazine chose to spotlight the controversy swirling around Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh with a portrait of Ford, the California professor who has accused him on sexual assault in the early 1980s, when both were prep school students in Maryland; Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
And so Bay Area-based artist John Mavroudis created a collage of multi-tinted typography. The Oct. 15 cover portrait — depicting Ford’s swearing-in for her Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week — is constructed from the words of Ford’s own testimony.
“The testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford hit me pretty hard,” Mavroudis tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs. “I had so many emotions — but mostly felt for the newly experienced trauma she was going through.
“I think everyone knows someone who has gone through something like what she experienced,” he adds of Ford. “Many do not know that they are family or friends of someone who experienced this.”
When it came to channeling his emotion into this illustration, he says, “I read the transcript of the testimony, and it brought back, even in written form, a lot of her pain.
“I made a list of impactful quotes and started placing them where I thought they belonged,” he continues. “The ‘seared into my memory’ and ‘the laughter,’ which she talked so powerfully [about], belonged on her forehead. The ‘I tried to yell for help’ belonged on her lips. But I eventually moved the word ‘help’ to a more lonely, but striking part: her white teeth surrounded by black.”
The artist — who two years ago created a typographical Trump portrait for the Nation — also emphasizes that his artistic distillation of Ford reflects current events but not the woman.
“When it came together, and I was finally finished, I think I had the essence of what I wanted to convey,” he says. “Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s life is not this. She is a much richer, more complex human being. We all are. But I think this conveyed the moment we are in right now.”