GE HealthCare’s portraits of nurses have as many brushstrokes as career hours they’ve worked
BBDO New York commissioned artist Tim Okamura for a series of paintings that are intentionally unfinished
May 09, 2023
This week is National Nurses Week, and we’re already seeing some heartfelt tributes to those indispensable health care workers—including an artful new project from BBDO New York for GE HealthCare that has a data visualization angle.
The agency commissioned Tim Okamura, a Japanese Canadian artist known for his contemporary realist portraits, to paint portraits of nurses. Using an infrared frame mounted to his canvas (developed by experiential partners Dot Dot Dash), BBDO kept track of the number of brushstrokes in real time—then connected that number to the hours worked by the portrait subject.
The “Canvases of Care” paintings have been intentionally left unfinished, to reflect the fact that a nurse’s work is never done.
“I love the concept relating the brushstrokes to the number of hours that they’ve put in in their career,” said Okamura. “It just really gives you a sense of how much work, how much dedication, just the commitment to care that each one of these nurses has put in. I feel empathy in all of their faces, and I just feel like I’m seeing some very kind people, like truly kind humans.”