It is tempting to call Janita Peperkamp a realist painter, but the highly-styled faces she renders suggest otherwise. The rounded eyes and exaggerated expressions of her characters invoke the realm of illustration. Their dubious, inexplicable behaviors take the work into surrealist territory. The artist has a tendency to zero in on her subjects’ faces, which often reveal their emotional states, whether through theatrical body language or the use of bizarre props. Peperkamp renders her portraits on panel with acrylic paint, adding many transparent layers to create depth and detail. The artist wrote in her artist statement that her portraits, though not explicitly self-portraits, are autobiographical, as she seeks to illuminate a reflection of herself in her subjects. Take a look at more of Peperkamp’s work below.