Centered on The Andrew Project (2010–13) by artist Shaan Syed, this article is a theoretical meditation on the politics and ethics of the name, drawing, the portrait, anonymity, and the signature, as these bear on a shared sense of loss and its impossible commemoration. I invoke the figure of the urban stranger and passerby to argue for an aesthetics and ethics of social anonymity that does not rely on or demand identification and that thereby remains open to the risk, surprise, and pleasure of shared existence. In doing so, I theorize intimacy as that which remains unnameable in the “commerce” of our everyday lives.

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