The Understated Surrealism of Oriana Fenwick

by Danny OldaPosted on

I had looked at one of Oriana Fenwick‘s drawings, a portrait, for some time.  There was something off about it and I couldn’t figure it out.  A considerable amount of time later it revealed itself: the man in the drawing had two philtrums – that groove from the top of your lip to the bottom of your nose.  Such a simple and subtle detail was enough to lend the entire drawing a persistent unsettling feeling.  This sort of understated weirdness is typical in the work of Fenwick.  Usually drawn and monochrome, her work uses reflections and slight shifts in anatomical features and cues to set her subjects just out of reach of our comfort level.  Her technique, like her medium, is simple but enough.

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