Portraits From Realsim to Abstraction

As you view the portrait busts in this area, observe all the different angles of the portraits. All the portraits here are made by the same artist, yet they each have different styles representing the many ways a person may be depicted through art.   You will see shapes emerge that you would not see captured in a photograph.   The still sculptures have movement and show hidden depth of form, line and surfaces that depict character, personality and feeling. A face may be portrayed as real with precise proportion and anatomically correct, and yet as each portrait develops a person may be depicted with fewer lines, fewer shapes and may even be resolved down into it’s most simplest form of suggestion and abstraction. You may see a face, but not in its entirety, just a suggestion of movement is enough for the artist to capture a thousand words.

“The things we are often most familiar with are the things we might least consider. In a day we may see a hundred faces, communicate with them and watch as they pass us by. As with many other things in art the portrait and physiognomy are extraordinarily useful mechanisms for the communication of ideas, thoughts and concepts. Accurate depiction of a sitter or a traditional portrait is one way of using the human face in art, however the expression of key aspects of human life can be conveyed through manipulation of the components of the human face. For instance the portrait of ‘Mary Magdalene’ shows her pain, loss, and fear through fragmentation and distortion within the sculpture, which exacerbates and therefore depicts inner feelings of the subject through the distortion of the subject’s physiognomy. Often a purely realistic interpretation is not enough to achieve such artistic aims.”


Peter Walker, 2015

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