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Ian Strawn  Kennewick, WA

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Ian

I am a people watcher. I revel in catching momentary glimpses of old men behind me in the checkout line, or catch sight of the girl with the rather striking eyebrows on the other side of the bookstore. Somewhere in the clockwork of my soul there is a drive to know something of the people around me. Not to talk to them, or approach them, or learn any concrete fact about them, but to read their faces, to catalogue them, to glean what I can from the short moment that I can steal a glance.

Recently, my work has mirrored this same passion. In it, I am describing people as if at that glance. The scene is not wholly realized. Settings, clothes, and objects are often abridged or discarded. But what remains is that which satiates my desire to know them. Something is there that speaks to me of who they are, what they want, and what their relationship is to me. It is what is left when nothing more is wanted.

Paradoxically, in creating a still image of the glance, I am denying it’s momentary nature. Time is introduced, allowing a deeper look, a longer look, a look well beyond the confines of a glance. Yet the information is still limited to bare bones essentials, and the experience sits somewhere between glance and perusal.

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'Eye Contact'




10 of 17 reactions displayed

"I have seen these works in person. They are quite incredible. To those of you who think that they are photographs, these are PAINTINGS! No, I don't think you could do this. Paintings this realistic is true talent."

"The subjects of his paintings look defiant and proud of their wounds, almost daring us to explore further.There's no pretense, just glaring reality.Great stuff."

"I happen to love these paintings. They are real.It's interesting just seeing other peoples lives if only for a second."

"Brilliant elongation of glimpse."

"i think those who evaluated the painting from the artists statement missed the point. it is not what he said in words that matters, he is not an author nor does he purport to be. he is merely letting us see inside his soul. if we are gagast then we should look inside ourselves to see why perhaps. the portrait is one of those rare ones that truly moves me. why? i don't quite know, or care, really, all that i know is it makes me want more, afterall, isn't that what art is all about?"

"Strong paintings... However, after reading the artist statement, I can't help but feel a bit underwhelmed. There is nothing new about flanery or people watching. Sure, you claim to catalogue these people, but are you really saying anything? These might as well be photographs of these people if all you are trying to do is have "a longer look". What makes these people special to you and why should we care?For example, the way you treat the figure and/or the background in your compositions... or, for that matter, your compositions as a whole seem arbitrary."

"No thanks. People wrecks along with car wrecks and slaughter house art are eye catching, but at what cost? Degradation may be one goal, but there are others to occupy a mind in a more constructive and productive directions, unless of course the lowest common denominator thrill seekers and fame at any price is your game."

"I admire interesting work such as this...unconventional beauty and inspiring aspects on the otherwise ordinary. However it needs to be aesthetically pleasing. These are just scary."

"Hey--You made me look. Most of the daily artist images are ignorable and forgettable. Couldn't stop looking at yours and wanted to see more. Your "Let's Do This Like Buddhists" made me laugh out loud. Love your use of hot/cold, light/dark values. Nice compositions. Memorable portraits and figures. I'll remember the scab-faced redhead for a long time. Thanks!"

"Excellent work.An artist of 30 years and I feel that I can learn from you! Keep up the great ideas."

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