Justin Schaefer is an artist living and working in the Warehouse district of downtown Los Angeles. He received his MFA in painting from CSU Longbeach. Recent exhibitions include La Luz de Jesus and Royal/T galleries in Hollywood and Culver City (respectively). Schaefer’s large scale renderings of contorted bodies and complicated reflections draw from an orthodox upbringing intertwined with canonical form and theatrical add-ons. Schaefer’s process is two fold — he begins constructing images through an elaborate photo shoot with dramatized lighting, models, mirrors and makeup. Playing the role of director, Schaefer collaborates with his models and materials for complex composition and unexpected visual results. After editing down several hundred photographs, Schaefer completes post production on the computer and goes to task of building up thin glazes of oil paint on canvas. With all the digital mediation on the front end of his process, he manages to keep things very traditional; thin layers of paint, rich tones, very little white. The scale of Schaefer’s paintings runs a wide range; pieces size up from 18″ to well above life sized. Still, the small works leave a lasting impression; I was reminded of some of the German Andactsbild, devotional images designed to illicit sympathy for Christ’s suffering. Schaefer’s figures may or may not be looking to the viewer for pity, but the beauty Schaefer pulls from these noir situations leaves a lasting impression.
(all images courtesy http://www.justinschaeferart.com)
You can see more of Justin’s work here!