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TEST PROGRAM / Self Portrait - John Paul de Silva

Self Portrait - John Paul de Silva

Early during quarantine, I was on social media more than usual, and came across a post by a friend. It was about people re-creating art at home using themselves and household objects to replicate the piece as close as possible. I chose 1600s-era Self-Portrait with a Sunflower by Anthony van Dyck. When I first saw it, I knew it would be fairly easy as I already had a red sweater, gold rope in the garage, and a black wig from an old Halloween costume. I replicated the sunflower by finding a pic on the web and displaying it on my TV. The second art I re-created was by the same artist and called Portrait of Jacques Le Roy. I borrowed the fur coat and scarf from my mom. I used coffee filters around my wrists. The collar was the trickiest part. I had to pleat a dozen or so pieces of paper and stick them together. I wasn’t fully happy with the outcome as it needed more paper, but I wasn’t about to waste more of it to achieve incremental improvement. It was fun doing this and I enjoyed being resourceful.


I’ve incorporated my interests in NPOs, social justice, mentorship, and entrepreneurship, into running a consulting business that connects students looking for business experience with NPOs looking for help with social media and marketing. When business slowed down, I took on a role heading up marketing for a social-purpose start-up. Almost daily, you can find me at the gym working on my physical fitness doing cardio, weight lifting, yoga, and martial arts. I also love watching sports, particularly the Raptors, Blue Jays, and Manny Paquiao. I enjoy exploring Toronto’s vegetarian/vegan scene and since I love cooking, have been trying tasty recipes that omit or limit non-plant based ingredients. I also have a huge interest in rap music and not just listening to it. I like making my own beats and mixing them with acapellas from some of my favourite artists. Lastly, I love road trips. It’s very relaxing to be on an open road with no traffic and occasional pit stops in small towns.

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