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Binnenhof Stellenbosch Cell: 0763108800
Laurens Barnard (Laubar)
ArtistBarnard's bright colors and whimsical brush strokes consort on canvas to create a winsome portrait of an adorned woman. The style of his work resembles Picasso's use of bold facial structures (particularly seen in the accentuated representation of the nose), and Chagall's soft elongation of bodily proportions. However, Barnard's unique signature can be seen in the final product and execution of his work. With a filmmaking background, his style of portraiture is presented as a candid snapshot rather than as a typically, stiff posed model. The widened exaggerated eyes of the woman hint of a state of reverie and solemn longing.
The prescribed title of the work should say it all, but rather than draw a conclusion for the audience, it cleverly raises more questions. It provokes us to think more elaborately about the greater story that may be behind the snapshot captured by the painting. "Has she lost a loved one", "was she stood up by a scoundrel of a lover"... these are just a few questions we may have as we ponder upon the women's seemingly solemn expression. Whether its pity or empathy we feel, Barnard has successfully created an atmosphere for emotional response as we're invited into an intimate relationship with the subject before us. He reminds us that a great portrait isn't so much a duplication of a face on canvas with considerable excellence, but rather the ability to capture what's beneath the surface of appearance.
Barnard has indeed created a colorful caricature of a woman and given us permission to identify or not identify, to empathize, to speculate, to judge, and to wonder; encouraging the exploration of narrative through his artwork.
Text by Laurens Barnard
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