If you thought that hyper-realistic paintings always seemed a bit dry and uninteresting, then perhaps you haven't seen these works by Jeff Ramirez. The Los Angeles-based artist keeps his subject matters fresh, making his pieces feel alive and relevant. Currently, you can see some of Ramirez's work along with those by other realist painters, like Aaron Nagel and Jennifer Nehrbass, at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, California.
sat down with Ramirez to learn more about him and his creative process. Here was one of the Q and A's I enjoyed the most.
AM: It seems that many of your paintings feature people who are somehow concealing their face in some way or another. Is there some sort of conscious effort to paint this way and if so, what does it mean?
JR: Getting back to my adolescence, I always felt like I was a different person depending on whom I was around, whether it be friends or family or whomever. It often felt unnatural, like a performance. Gradually, I realized that I had grown really skeptical of images and their supposed content, even images of myself. I just didn’t relate to them on the same level as I think a lot of people might. I was more interested in them for context or absurd moments than as mementos or reminders. And now, with the rise of digital photography, social networking and this blurring of reality, there is a real lack of emotional truth in many of these supposedly candid shots. I’m interested in using that look to create new images that do have emotional truth for me and so it is often necessary to obscure elements in order to make for a different experience from these rather ubiquitous images.
Jeff Ramirez's website