Nick Runge, a Los Angeles-based artist, crafts dreamlike and moody paintings of mysterious figures and scenes. Though these works carry flashes of realism, these works carry abstractions that either push backdrops into otherworldly territory or interfere with the subject itself.
The artist works in oils, acrylics, and watercolors, citing the benefits to each and professing an equal love to all of these methods. Runge says that the three factors he considers most important are strong color palette, composition, and lighting. The vagueness of a piece like “Bus Driver,” with its obscured subject peering out of our view, begs for our own narratives to be assumed. Pieces like “Rose,” with its young, female subject resting on a skateboard, absorb in a different way.
“The specific subject matter means little to me, though I appreciate a sense of power and confidence when I see that in any person,” Runge tells BeautiMarks, when asked about the piece “Rose.” “That’s why I chose ‘Rose’ to paint here. She has a certain gravity to her, drawing your interest. I try to stress ‘mood’ more than anything, so that the viewer responds to a feeling they get, instead of judging whether or not they should like the subject/person first.”