Sunday, 21 June 2015

Ronan Walsh portraits

From the Camberwell Open

These two portraits, hung on the wall of the cafe at Camberwell Baths, struck me as being particularly interesting.

First, they are good portraits to the extent that they make you think about the person they are depicting and tells you a little about what they might be like as people. Second, the technique is unusual and different in each, suggesting that the choice for each was intentional. Third, there is a fascination about the artist using geometrical patterns to describe peoples' faces. Third, the colours are not natural.

Ronan Walsh Bearded Bill
from Camberwell Open
Both from
The tone variation in the face is brilliant. The use of geometrical shapes works very well there. I also like the way the wispier strands of beard transmute into more mechanical shapes. I was thinking that these might turn out to be meaningful and symbolise something about the man himself, but I can't see what that is myself.

Ronan Walsh from Camberwell Open
I think the pencil drawing is more successful in the sense that you think about the man rather than the technique when you look at it. It took me some time to see the child in the coloured drawing. I expect it was done from a photo, because of the strong expression of playfulness on the mother's face, and unstable posture, which would be difficult to hold for long enough. The flat space is interesting. It does emphasise the skin areas, which is naturally what you are interested in for a portrait. This portrait makes me want to have a go at using coloured geometric shapes to represent skin and play around with it a bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment