I painted this portrait of Mullah Omar a few months ago, probably around the 9/11 anniversary hooplah. One doesn’t hear much about this guy anymore, even though it’s possible that he’s leading quite an active life. Since he has barely ever been photographed, he’s not the sort of person that absolutely everyone would recognize, like UbL, but it still seems likely that he would cut quite a figure wherever he is and whatever he is doing (unless he’s dead). Not allowing one’s self to be photographed can have all sorts of interesting possibilities for changing one’s occupation and lifestyle. A few years ago, an Afghan taxi driver told me that in fact Mullah Omar is still active in the Afghan government, under the pseudonym of Hamid Karzai. Aside from the fact that Hamid Karzai has allowed himself to be photographed throughout his life, and is much older than Mullah Omar, the theory is intriguing. There are a few pictures claiming to represent Mullah Omar floating around the internet though, most of which don’t look like they were taken of the same person. The picture I chose as a basis for this portrait made him look one-eyed, so it seemed the most likely to be authentic, though it doesn’t make him look much like Hamid Karzai.