Justin Pearson Self Portraits Digital Artwork 2018
Since the beginning of human consciousness, the portrait artist has been an important part of our human story. The Portrait artists throughout time and space have had a task to perpetuate, preserve, enshrine, celebrate, memorialize, and document our age, our trials, our context... to communicate our evolution and being.
Portraiture was always as important and significant as painting landscapes or historic scenery, famous portrait artists like the old master Rembrandt or the great renaissance artist Leonardo made great contributions in establishing this fine art form as one of the most interpretive genres in painting and the arts.
Prior to the invention of photography, it was the painters and sculptors job to deliver an accurate depiction of the subject as possible, making portraits express suffering, prestige, impotency, power, simplicity and sophistication. Throughout different periods, portraiture evolved hand-in-hand with civilization, jumping from stone and bronze age, religious and Biblical themes to pictures of noble families, common folk and of course self-portraiture, and artists further developed paints, techniques and working methods along the way.
Portraiture today As we move through the first half of the 19th century, portrait painting became increasingly replaced by the new artistic medium regarded at the time as a more “honest” form of art. Although the images were realistic and more perhaps representative, they in some cases lacked the individuality of expression... one that only paint on canvas could ever obtain. The camera obscura was already used as an aid by painters, but the fact that photography could now do it all by itself sent portrait painting into a kind of crisis.
The new century introduced the avant-garde movements, impressionism, cubism, and surrealism... all keen on running away from any figurative or human representational art giving portraiture a whole new phenomenon in which to rediscover itself in the world of the future. Still with artists from Van Gogh to Mary Cassatt, Picasso, Klimt, Schiele and Lempicka all incorporating painting of people into their distinct practices, thus inspiring generations of creatives working in the field today.
Techniques of the Old Masters... It was the Old Masters who discovered oil painting and developed and refined techniques which remain unsurpassed to this day, it is during this period when the art of portraiture reached its peak. However the mastery of nonclassical art in the middle of the twentieth century displaced these venerated skills, especially in institutionalised art circles. For many aspiring artists today interested in the concepts and techniques of traditional portraiture like Justin Pearson seeking the methods of the old masters and their knowledge has been his life's ambition.
What critics say about Justin;
"We love all Justin's playful scenes of daily life, greek mythology and beautifully executed portraits."