Artwork / 2005 / Justin Oswald (Underneath the Lines)

painted portrait of Justin Oswald
Gwenn Seemel
Justin Oswald (Underneath the Lines)
acrylic on canvas
48 x 34 inches

The title of Justin’s portrait, Underneath the Lines, comes from our photo-session. During it, Justin asked me what went on underneath all the lines in my portraits. Was it a realistic portrait? Did I add the lines as decoration?

These questions puzzled me then and they still puzzle me today. My way of mark-making is organic and completely natural. The idea that I would add my way of expressing myself on at the end of my process is bizarre to me.

At some point, Justin was an art dealer in Portland. In 2003, I painted some of his colleagues, and in 2007 I painted one more. When I moved to New Jersey in many years later, I started again painting art dealers to make connections. That’s where these portraits of Matt Burton and Nita Shaprio come from.