Chinese born, California based artist Vincent Xeus paints his portraits with a sensitive treatment of light and shading to an almost haunting effect. Though his work shares elements of 17th-century Dutch masters and contemporaries like Gerhard Richter, Odd Nerdrum, Francis Bacon, and Antonio López Garcia, Xeus has created an entirely new approach. Previously featured on our blog, he has said that his intent is to reveal that which is beneath what we think we see. This involves smudging the paint until the subject's face is hardly recognizable or appears blurry and more impressionistic. His latest body of work, "Hue is Full / A Thousand Faces", which opened Friday at Gallery 1261 in Colorado, takes his unconventional style to a new level where he wipes and scrapes away at his subjects.
Vincent Xeus's shadowy portraits reference the Italian and Dutch masters. But rather than directly emulating the techniques of Caravaggio and Rembrandt, he builds on their styles to create works with a moody, haunted ambiance. He scratches and smudges his anachronistic portraits with his paintbrush, making them appear broken and somehow corrupt. His subjects' faces become ghostly and unrecognizable — their images, relics of an opulent society with a dark underbelly. Xeus's new work is currently on view in his solo show, "Love — Fragmented Traditions," showing through February 14 at Last Rites Gallery in New York.