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Artwork, Identification, and the Human Expertise

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Go behind the scenes with Omar Lawson, an thrilling new expertise whose unique method to portraiture is capturing the artwork world’s consideration.

Q&A with Omar Lawson, mixed media artist

The very first thing you discover about Omar Lawson’s paintings is the grand scale. At six toes tall, his portraits carry a weight and presence all their very own.

Untitled work by Omar Lawson
Untitled work by Omar Lawson (Combined Media, 6’ x 5’)

Nevertheless it shortly turns into obvious that Lawson’s portraits aren’t solely life-sized; they’re bigger than life. His daring use of shade and dynamic composition transports the viewer from an artwork gallery right into a shared human expertise. Lawson’s portraits concurrently seize a person’s distinctive id and the common human expertise.


Q&A with Omar Lawson

On this transient Q&A, we share a glimpse into Omar Lawson’s work and method to portraiture. To take a deeper dive, try the recording of our latest Illuminate occasion, the place we peeked inside Lawson’s studio and talked about his life, artwork, and dealing strategies.

Q: What do you discover most compelling about portray portraits?

Making one thing that many individuals can establish with—whereas additionally understanding there’s a person on the market who perceives my creation as a illustration of their id—is unbelievably satisfying. Although portraiture headlines my work, the main focus is at all times on the collective narrative.

Omar Lawson explores identity and the human experience in his portraiture

Q: You paint with oils, acrylics, and collaged parts. What are the advantages and challenges of every medium and the way do you resolve which to make use of for a portray?

The rationale I work in combined media is in order that I can skip over all of the challenges and shortcomings of every medium and actually play to their strengths. I completely paint the pores and skin and hair with oils as a result of the sluggish dry time permits me to essentially outline the bodily traits of my fashions which is essential to portraying their identities as people. Alternatively, the mediums that I used to create the clothes and areas that my figures occupy are chosen the minute that I resolve to work on them.

Each determination informs the subsequent and though working this fashion could make each portray really feel like a visible take a look at, it’s my means of partaking with the work and persevering with to enhance my determination making abilities.

Q: What’s one thing new you’re seeking to discover in your paintings?

I’ve begun to combine perforated or “dotted” traces into my work. These are usually utilized in early childhood training to show youngsters write letters and symbols that they’ll proceed to make use of all through their training and on a regular basis lives.

A life-sized portrait by Omar Lawson, mixed media artist
Untitled work by Omar Lawson (Combined Media, 6’ x 4’)

I plan to make use of the perforated line in my work as a automobile for my commentary on the training that we obtain exterior of the varsity system inside ideas equivalent to tradition, societal norms, and nuanced experiences.


For extra from Omar Lawson, watch a replay of Making Artwork That Sparks Dialog, a web based occasion completely for Artists Community members.

Learn extra about Omar Lawson’s Liquitex artist residency or comply with him on TikTok.

Meet Omar Lawson, mixed media artist, in our next Illuminate event for Artists Network members

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