Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Encounter (2008), by Paul Fenniak

Paul Fenniak is a Canadian painter who creates compelling narrative portraiture. By narrative, I mean that even his more straightforward portraits seem to operate as voyeuristic opportunities to observe a person paused within their personal story. In other instances, as in the image below, the narrative is in full-swing, although ambiguous. His characters strike me as lonely, down-a-notch in life, and sometimes "caught" doing some of the strange things humans do when they believe they are alone (like standing on a bed to listen through the wall to the next room).

From the artist bio written by the gallery that represents his work:

"Paul Fenniak paints detailed psychological portraits and figures in settings with implied action. Deep in thought, Fenniak’s subjects are contemporary in setting but reminiscent of studied portraits that follow the tradition of [earlier figurative artists]. Paul Fenniak’s paintings have luminous surfaces and compelling images that offer a combination of disquiet, uncertainty, urgency, calm, and spirituality. His painting style contains a contrast of inner light with his attention to detail, texture and atmosphere." (From the Forum Gallery website)

Paul Fenniak online

Paul Fenniak
Encounter (2008-09)
Oil on canvas
60" x 48"

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