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Abstract Portrait Artists

The unpredictability of human behavior is fodder for Abstract Expressionism. Sudden movement, brief glances and impermanent facial expressions defy the strict laws of realism, so how about a shift away from it? Portraiture may be described as still, posed and an effective rendering of the human form in the subject of figurative art. But the human can also be dynamic and in a state of motion, impossible to portray during sittings. By moving away from realism and using light, color, shapes and mixed media, abstract art creates movement on the canvas itself echoing the dynamism of the figure - the subject of abstract portraiture. Abstract artists such as Theo van Doesburg and his 1915 work Abstract Portrait uses  blocks of color and shapes to carve out what we recognize to be a figure. But the figure is deconstructed and seems to move and shift on the canvas. Expecting to see a face, the viewer uses their eye to put the portrait back together and find the figure in the work.  Today, Shay Mess combines female faces with nature to create portraits that are floral, saturated with color and draw the viewer in. Whilst Mario Henrique focuses on the dynamism of the human form depicting dancers and the fleeting nature of the human body.


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