These are Portraits!

Sometimes even the concept behind the art is irresistible.
"Portrait of a Glamazon", painting of a woman very sure of herself
 and not afraid to wear it.
I recently went to a show of works by Elizabeth Barlow, a wonderful artist working in the Bay Area. First, I love her photo realism style (as we called it in school) -- her paintings look like actual sculptures, popping right off the wall. The detail is meticulous. The light within each canvas sets a clear mood that is playful, seductive, dramatic, or thoughtful, sometimes all of these. 
The effect is kind of thrilling.

detail of "Glamazon"
But what is also exciting about these works: they are PORTRAITS of people, who own the items painted.  The artist has taken personal, meaningful, or favorite items and created these fantastic portraits that tell as powerful a story as any head shot of an individual. 
How cool is that?

"Embrace" depicts two men via their bluejeans.

I grew up in the South where there is a long established culture of painted portraits. My mother had 3, count 'em 3! painted of me & my sibs by age 18.  So admittedly I am partial to portraits.  Paintings that tell a story of a particular person are just intriguing.  They draw the viewer in, even if you have no idea who the person is.  You wonder about their history, what brought them to that moment captured in paint, what kind of life was lived behind those eyes.
Or, in this case, what kind of life was lived to make those wrinkles, frayed cuffs, loose buttons, or worn spots on a favorite pair of jeans.  How wild to evoke the intimacy of a couple through their entwined clothing!

"Yin/Yang" depicts a long-married man & woman.

"Unbuttoned" series of shirts.
Looking at any of these, you feel like you could take the shirt off the wall & put it on.

detail of "Unbuttoned, Scene 3"

"Portrait of a Man," shoes of a single father and his daughter.

 If you live in the Bay Area, hurry over to see this show of inventive, compelling portraits up through November 6, at a gem of a new gallery:
click here for link to Gallerie Citi
Gallerie Citi at 1115 Howard Ave, in Burlingame, CA.

Click here for more on Elizabeth Barlow.

Ooohhh, and I bet he won't miss those jeans, or she won't miss those shoes, while you sneak them out to Ms. Barlow for a commissioned holiday gift!