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Charcoal portrait 2

Hannah Witner


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Charcoal portrait 2

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This is a portrait done during an artist residency in Skagastrond, Iceland in 2020. This is based on individuals I came across while there. It's made in a style that emphasizes the facial expression and skin, and leaves the body and apparel as loose suggestive line drawings. This piece will need a frame.

24"H × 18"W × 1"D
charcoal on paper


My work spans from colorful, surrealist, and psychological oil paintings, whimsical sculptures, and experimental & commercial design. Approaching my work with figurative irreverence, biomorphisms, tableaus of existential dilemmas as a measure of the contemporary human condition, I find a peculiar balance. Combining humanoids with an expansive array of visual material and immense play of colors, I begin in consciousness and transience. My work combines touches of reality with meta-fiction and comedy and reflects our disorder, dissociation, detachment, individualism, and weird minutia of the human condition. Other themes such as dissociation, detachment, individualism, and transience play a major role in the majoritively abstract figurative work. Sometimes absurd and riddled with dark humor, the work allows the viewer to confront questions I have posed in a more serene way. It echoes the phenomena of the subconscious through morphing characters, figures in motion, and layers of consciousness and reality through bold juxtaposition of line, color, and shape. The new way that we must move through the world in a post-modern society is explored by the constant state of movement and deformity that the body takes, on it’s own and in conjunction with others. I poke at the flawed and unexplained through painting and illustration, expressing a disorderliness that is both humorous and amorphic. I hope my new bodies of work read as an exploration into the boundaries that comics and cartoons can push into traditional and non-traditional painting techniques and experimental forms. I have been working with the juxtaposition between the intense high frequency of chaos balanced with low frequency moments of rumination. Primordial and apocalyptic; sweeping and specific; humorous and biological: all exploring the chaos and order of moments in between what we can actually see.

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