Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kwanchai Moriya

 Kwanchai Moriya, an illustrator based in LA, does all sorts of work from cartoons to collage to architectural fantasy drawings. But here are some of his portraits:

Kwanchai Moriya [Image: blonde thin white woman holding a baby sits in a throne with her legs crossed and arms firmly planted on the armrests, looking steadily at the viewer. Background is thinly layered dark swirling acrylics that look like an outer-space night sky and fantasy city skyline. The whole thing has a science fiction paperpack cover feel to it but the painting is left undone and abstracted in some spots.]

Kwanchai Moriya. [Image: loose oil sketch of an older man wearing pastel blue on black background. Paint is drippy and brushtrokes are large. Features are very basically blocked in.]

Kwanchai Moriya. [Image: painted portrait of a chef seated, in uniform, before a table. She holds a large knife across her knees. A coffee or tea pot and some other utensils are on the table. The bottom half (legs, under table) is left reddish, drippy and thinly painted. The chef's white clothes and skin is thickly and realistically painted. The top background is thickly blocked in white that silhouettes the figure and objects on the table.]

Kwanchai Moriya. [Image: painted head & shoulders portrait of youngish Asian man wearing a white button-down shirt with red tie leaning back on a couch. The light source leaves most of his face in mid-shadow, his expression reading as non-plussed or tired. Brushstrokes are blocky and Cezanne-like.]

Kwanchai Moriya. [Image: thinly layered acrylic painting of the head & shoulders of a youngish woman in front of an abstract concentric circular background. She appears to be wearing headphones or some sort of suit/helmet but it's hard to distinguish because the layers are transparent and slightly abstracted. The woman's appearance is evocative of 1950's and 60's Chinese or Korean propaganda posters, while the background is evocative of outer space, a void or a record.]

Kwanchai Moriya. [Image: pencil sketch of older white woman in profile leaning her chin on her hand. The planes of her face are emphasized and her curly hair is drawn loosely and expressively.]

I don't know if Moriya buys into the notion of "capturing" a person's character in a portrait or if that's his intent, but all of these people are so interesting. The way he's posed them or cropped and arranged the pose if it's from an art class has a very narrative quality that I'm envious of.

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