Sunday, March 21, 2010

Unusual Portait Poses

My favorite part of portraiture-- I think-- is finding a fantastic pose or composition that makes the final portrait insightful and un-cheesy. I need to remember, when doing quick portrait sketches, to take a little time before I start to consider pose and composition. These are some really interesting ways of portraying someone besides the "sit for a mugshot."

Marcel Duchamp. Nude Descending A Staircase. [This may not be a portrait but I used it for the idea of a portrait in motion. Duchamp actually painted the very similar Sad Young Man in a Train, which he identified as a self-portrait.]

Marcel Duchamp. Self Portrait.

Edgar Degas. Portrait of Duranty.

Degas. Portrait of Diego Martelli

Charles Curran

Norman Rockwell, The Problem We All Live With.

Joyce Cambron
"Dickenson Shirt"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mark Kang-O'Higgins

Please, please click on the portrait to see a the larger version at Mark Kang-O'Higgins' website! All of his work-- landscape paintings, figure drawings, portraits-- have this liquid quality.

Portrait of Andy Warhol

That distinctive expression of an electrocuted corpse may give Warhol his instantly recognizable look but this classical treatment of such an anti-classical icon is so thoughtful and frank that it makes me re-think classical portraiture, this particular artist's work (which I already admired), Andy himself, and my own conditioned assumptions about him.

The painting is by Andrew Wyeth's son (and N.C. Wyeth's grandson, Carolyn Wyeth's nephew) James Wyeth.

I hadn't really looked at this portrait until I read Eric Stengel's essay about Andy Warhol being a founding member of the classical art atelier New York Academy of Art. It was there Stengel encountered the work of Camie Davis, whose work was featured in an exhibit in Stengel's hometown.

If you haven't seen Camie Davis' work, check out her website. Even if you're not into classical figurative work (or the "derriere guarde")her technique will probably still make you drool. And if you like her work, you might also enjoy Farrar Hood, Jason Talley, Joyce Cambron and Mark Kang-O'Higgins.