These contemporary portraits by Ridley Howard contain subtle narratives about each of the characters in the paintings. Setting, body posture, and facial expression combine to create a telling world about these people. Leo Koenig, the gallery which exhibits Howard’s works, writes about the artist: “Elegant, and beautiful, the people inhabiting the landscapes reveal a complexity in their isolation.”
The influence of cinema in the artist’s work is clear and obvious. The above painting entitled, The Big Picture, is a reference to film, while the painting above that shows a woman shooting film. Moreover, we can imagine each of these paintings like cinematic shots; sometimes the subject is aware of the camera and sometimes not.
The roundedness of Howard’s figures is also interesting. These figures are not photorealistic, but instead seem inspired by magazines and illustrations, even advertising. This flawless surface of the figures, portrayed in modern settings, belies the psychological reality. We sense the “interior world” despite the glossiness of the external one. And what does this interior world say about each of the subjects?