The Contemporary Portrait
Instructor: Brian Kelley
Why paint a portrait in this age of selfies? Why is portraiture experiencing a resurgence now, a new sense of relevance and urgency? Artists like Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sherald, Aliza Nisenbaum , Kerry James Marshall, Jenny Saville, Henry Taylor, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and many more are unpacking the portrait in ways rarely seen before. Looking at what is both general and specific, as well as timeless and timely in portraiture, students will:
Study the structure, planes, color temperature and the organization of value shapes that make up the portrait in space.
They will also consider the stories that observable human reality can evoke.
Both portraits of models and self-portraits will be covered, leading to an understanding of the difference between painting the stranger vs. the introspective aspects of painting the self.
Understanding how light, props, overall environment, as well as photographic references contribute to the language of the portrait will also be discussed.
Who is this class for: This class is best for those with some previous drawing and painting experience, especially of the human figure. However, those new to the portrait are welcome.
Image by Alex Knox.