Traditional Portraits Are Reimagined in an Exploration of Concealment and Identity by Shawn Huckins


#acrylic painting
#art historical past

“The Artist’s Wardrobe, Mary Greene (just after Copley)” (2022). All pictures © Shawn Huckins, shared with permission

A new sequence of paintings by New Hampshire-based mostly artist Shawn Huckins (beforehand) proposes contemplating about how we put on outfits and textiles in a contemporary light. Dirty Laundry continues the artist’s interest in re-deciphering 18th- and 19th-Century European portraiture, an inventive tradition steeped in symbolism and subtle commentary about prosperity and course. The garments donned by the subjects of painters like John Singleton Copley or Adriaen van der Werff mirrored their standing and sense of self by apparel and extras. Jean-Léon Gérôme’s depiction of a Bashi-Bazouk, a soldier of the Ottoman Empire, is a prescient comment on the character of dresses and uniform, as individuals enlisted ended up generally unpaid and dressed in a haphazard mix of pieces they acquired though on the march.

Huckins puts a playful, modern day twist on the notion of expressing one’s identification through cloth by obscuring his subjects’ faces almost fully, prompting the viewer to think about what it signifies to be cloaked or exposed. The artist recreated the compositions in the studio by draping a product with a range of clothes, mimicking the route and temperature of the light in the original will work in acrylic paint.

With their faces covered fully, the sitters are determined only by objects these types of as a string of pearls, a beloved doggy, or a handful of fruit. Huckins states in a assertion that “anything more that may possibly be recognised about these men and women continues to be concealed beneath piles of cloth and garments so ubiquitous it could be our personal.” Utilizing contemporary materials like buffalo plaid or gingham, the artist considers how we all costume to convey details about ourselves.

Dirty Laundry is also the title of the artist’s forthcoming solo exhibition with Duran Mashaal Gallery in Montréal, which opens on June 2. You can locate far more of his function on his web page and Instagram. (via Innovative Boom)


“Various Materials, Bashi-Bazouk (immediately after Gerome)” (2022)

“Red and Black, Mrs. Freeman Flower (following Highmore)” (2022)

“Pattern No. 4, Winslow Warren (just after Copley)” (2022)

“Yellow and Blue, Portrait of A Woman (immediately after Hudson)” (2022)

“Various Fabrics, Margareta Rees (just after van der Werff)” (2022)

“Various Materials, John Park with Puppy (after Stuart)” (2022)

“American Portrait, Elizabeth Murray (just after Copley)” (2022)

#acrylic painting
#artwork historical past


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