The advent of photography has really shaped us into an incredibly visual society. While having a portrait painted was a luxury usually afforded to the most privileged, photographs were soon accessible to people of all classes and incomes. Photography became a common experience, faces of us all, captured forever. Charleston artist Greg Hart takes his inspiration from historical portraits, concentrating on the emotional expression of the sitter.
Hart pours through historical archives, searching for a face that grabs him. He strives to remain ignorant of the details of each person’s background, preferring instead, to give us new portraits, carrying the same emotional intensity made even more impassioned by color blocking and dramatic rendering against isolated backgrounds.
Serious, stern faces are rendered more warmly, softly reminding us that behind these steely facades are real people who lived and loved, just as we do.