Spanish artist “Salusitano” paints large-scale mixed media portraits of gazing figures. His works are precisely detailed, oftentimes with 60 layers of paint or more. Appearing almost hyper-realistic, up-close they reveal tiny cross hatched marks made using colored pencil, conte crayon, and oil paint by the tip of the brush. The artist likens this technique to carving out the facial expressions of his protagonists; young girls, boys and women of various cultures. In Salusitano’s painting “Elisa Columpio”, a young girl on a swing looks back over her shoulder, recalling the little Dutch girl of Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. The piece is an example of Salusitano’s fascination with the emotional and conceptual implications of color. In one version, she is set against an ominous black background, as if about to swing into the unknown or possibly, her death. In another, she is set against a jarring bright red background, a more positive color, and swinging towards a happier future. Most portraits, like Elisa, feature a combination of influences, particularly from China and Japan, as seen in the traditional clothing and hair accessories that his subjects wear. Others wear head to toe black or funeral attire, implying a wisdom and experience beyond their age. An archival solo exhibition of Salusitano’s works, including his most recent, is now on view at Jorge Heitsch Gallery in Munich, Germany through October 31st, 2015.