Richmond area artist and Colombia native, Alfonso Pérez Acosta, has done portraits of people who’ve recovered from COVID-19.

Alfonso Pérez Acosta waits until the house is quiet to pick up the stylus. He peeks toward the rooms where his daughters, ages 4 and 6, finally gave in to sleepiness, before turning back to the basal swirls on green-hued backgrounds.

In the moments before midnight, the white spirals culminate in an intimate portrait of a person within a burgeoning community often overlooked during the coronavirus pandemic: survivors.

“The attention is focused heavily on the numbers; the deaths, the cases, and how somber this world is becoming,” he said in paisa-Bogota accented Spanish. “But in the middle of this, there’s also recovery. I wanted to connect people to that reality.”

By Sunday morning, more than 1 million people across the world who tested positive for the coronavirus have recovered, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., that number is almost 176,000.

Acosta wanted to spotlight those stories.

He uploads the sketches to Instagram, with “-RECOVERED-” underneath each portrait, the person’s name and where they’re from. The Richmond-area artist’s grid now includes a series of 25 snapshots into the lives of humans he calls superheroes.

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