The Portraiture Concept / by Lucas Novak

Many of us have probably strolled through halls or white rooms with portrait after portrait of seemingly the same portrait over and over, dulling our overall impression of the concept of portraiture. But if we free our minds of categorizing, historical chronologies, and overbroad groupings, by isolating each work of art as its own entity, then I think the dullness of the portraiture idea disappears. 

I think the concept of portraiture will never vanish as it applies to painting. There is an intrigue with the way a person can interpret and represent another person through lines and colors -- it's organic and human -- something that can't be replaced by machines or any other form of art. I don't mean to say that artists should just repeat what's been done in the past; to the contrary, the challenge remains, as it does with all forms of art, to create something fresh and original. 

Freshness and originality are not defined by mere subject matter. They just require creating something beyond what is known. Whatever that means. Undefined by their very nature.

Here are two styles I've been working on. Whether these paintings are fresh and original, I'll let you decide.

Left: Seated Woman, 24" x 18", oil, acrylic, ink, canvas. 

Right: Woman On Couch, 50" x 36", oil, acrylic, ink, canvas.