The painter who discovers the dirty laundry of the portrait – in images | Art and Design

During the lockdown, New Hampshire artist Shawn Huckins began creating small abstract paintings based on the bold plaid patterns in his wardrobe. Before long, he began juxtaposing scores of contemporary fabrics and 18th- and 19th-century portraiture in his Dirty Laundry series. ‘We use fabric to hide,’ he says, ‘but also to express.’

For each portrait, Huckins places a studio mannequin in the exact position of the model in the original, then builds layers of fabric over it and paints the final result. “The work is about self-discovery and identity, but also about the secrets we keep,” she says. “We all have dirty laundry, literally and figuratively.”

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