Ryan Hewett’s vibrant, abstract oil paintings compel us to take a closer look
The fragmented segments present in Ryan’s works dissect shapes and faces to a point of abstraction, resulting in an aesthetic that is both joyous, through the vividness of the color palette, and simultaneously unsettling, due to the figures. exposed that it reveals.
Such is Hewett’s application of oil paint (knives, brushes, and paint rollers) and bold color fields that the thick, textured layers become almost sculptural, causing his figures to project beyond the plane of the picture. image, directly confronting us with startling energy and haunting sharpness.
While he mainly paints faces, his latest collection of works highlights his movement towards the representation of bodies and the captivating essence that figurative forms can hold. You can see his new works in a new exhibition, New Paintings, at Unit London this month.
On display from June 20 to July 13, these latest paintings draw inspiration from the Cape Town-based South African artist’s enthralment with vibrant, abstract portraiture, as well as a growing interest and depiction of anatomy figurative through distinctive shapes and concentric circles.