Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Over the past few weeks at the National Academy I continued my exploration of figurative abstraction with acrylic paint on large canvases.

Our models were Aria and Ennis, both of whom were so physically perfect that the thought of rendering them in a classical realist manner seemed, well, just a bit too obvious and predictable.

So for Aria's portrait I used the glitch art of Kon Trubkovich as my starting point, and for Ennis, the digital experiments of Sergio Albiac.

The weird thing about combining realism with abstraction is that you're forced to think in two distinct ways, i.e., getting the drawing and anatomy right, and then rendering the abstraction in a compelling and convincing manner. Sort of like dancing classical ballet to rock music. Or staging a Mozart opera in modern dress.

It's a different mindset. But hey, why not. We'll see where this goes.


  1. these are really nice. Are you still thinking of a "digital, static" effect? How do you think Detzler (sp?) gets that?

  2. Hi Mark - thanks very much for your feedback!

    I'm still trying to figure out how Andy Denzler achieves his digital static effects. My closest approximation was this small acrylic painting:

    ...but it still lacks Denzler's fluidity and sensuousness. I'm pretty sure he uses some type of masking technique to separate the static areas from the blurry areas. I believe that he uses oil paint - that might be the key to his lush, painterly style though I think it would take a long time to finish.

    Anyway, the whole glitch art trend is fascinating to me, especially when combined with high key colors like Warhol and other pop artists.

  3. These are fantastic -- I feel so isolated in Perth (Western Australia) where I'm expected to be an artist who works with technology OR painter (not both). Unfortunately Perth art circles are also fairly dismissive of painting :(
    Looking at your work I can only think that painting is still the most wonderful medium.

    Chris (chrispoole74 on flickr)

  4. Hi Chris, I appreciate your feedback! Panting is alive and well. The tension between abstract expressionism, classical realism and technology is producing many new styles. It's fun exploring the zeitgeist. Thanks again.