Rebecca Mason Adams‘s moody acrylic paintings have an edge of realism that makes them look incredibly like black and white photographs. This is because the Providence, RI based artist, currently moving to Los Angeles, first studied photography and since then, has expressed an interested in black and white portraiture, “referencing stylized and graphic photography and film.” She transitioned into painting after school, utilizing her skills in photography and lighting to create her subjects, mostly women.
“I originally studied photography at RISD, and I have used what I learned behind the camera and with lighting to create a unique aesthetic for my work,” Adams shares. “I always photograph my own portraits for paintings, and I like to experiment with lighting influenced by cinema and film noir. Black and white photography was my first art obsession when I was younger, it definitely influenced my work over the years.”
At her Facebook, Adams shares videos of her works in progress, where they appear surprisingly painterly in their first stages, before she adds convincing details such as subtle light play, dramatic shadows and patterns. Though many have labeled her as a photorealist, Adams’s use of these elements also makes her work abstract, and in the context of noir’s dark visuals, evokes strange, erotic, and ambivalent feelings. Her work can recently be seen in the group show “Contemporary Figuration” at Abend Gallery in Denver, CO through June 4th.