Barnaby Whitfield’s portraits are rendered with acidic shades of chalk pastel as if illuminated by a strange, disorienting light source. His characters’ pallid skin glows with an almost fluorescent shade of white and the wrinkles, bruises, and redness on their faces is especially accentuated. Their vulnerability manifests in the form of physical scars.
Whitfield’s men and women appear emotionally exhausted and sometimes even tearful — a detail that doesn’t become readily apparent amid his festive use of neon colors. His bright drawings weave emotion into their surreal, visual splendor. Whitfield’s work will be on view at Gallery Poulsen’s booth at PULSE Contemporary Art Fair this week (December 4-7) in Miami. Stay tuned for coverage of Art Basel week festivities in the coming days.