People have forgotten how to look at figurative art.
This largely is on account of the always present phones in our lives. Ever present and ever ready to capture whatever we deem important or interesting. The ability to now document the minutia of our lives has made it so that the “merely” representational images seem “off”, wrong or not impressive, so used to the availability of actual photos have we become.
Now, if you draw a person, it needs to be hyper real to be appreciated by the casual art peruser.
It is all right for a portrait to look like the subject but also like a painting/drawing.
We treasure the paintings of Matisse and while when he portrays a woman on a couch we know what we are seeing, no one is going to ever use it to do a technical anatomical study from. The emotion resonating from his work not technical portrayal is where the joy is to be found.
Another aspect which seems largely forgotten are the dynamics between artist & model. While most artists want to convey the likeness of their subject, ultimately it is as if the artist is describing the model using their words, words in this case being their style (technique).
A final important component in portraying a subject is that none of us look the same all the time. Mood, health, ambient surroundings all dictates changes on our faces, bodies and even body language.
I often use same people over the course of many works, each time there are little differences. This is not imperfection of technique nor chops operating only at a certain skill level.
Doing it right, a series of pieces using same subject is not dissimilar to Bird & Diz riffing off of Hot House. The basic structure remains familiar but with changes built off the initial theme, always slightly different but containing recognizable components.
Here is informal series I did. I never think of what I want to portray, I just execute what I see without agenda. After the first piece, this series showed a playfulness along with a bemused surprise at a until then, thought secret vulnerability.
Music Addict Paris ’18