“It Could Have Been Oh So…” by Jason Grunwald

Last night was the opening of the show “U-Turn,” a group show of portraiture at Petra Projects in Soho. Shown here is Jason Grunwald’s painting “It could have been oh so…”. I had seen this image on the postcard before the show and I was refreshingly taken with the “real” thing. To me this shows again the power of the actual object of art, with visible brushstrokes and all its painterly qualities. Plus I really love the intensity of this girl’s gaze, even though her eyes are hidden behind the sunglasses. There’s a sense of expectation, but also a hint of a challenge in the subject’s face.
I don’t go to galleries expecting to enjoy the art and I was happy to say that while some works in the show I was more taken with than others, it was nice to see a strong showing of portraiture in different mediums in one space. There was a kind of conversation between the pieces, asking us how we see people and how artists choose to show us their subjects. What captures the essence of someone? Is looking at people ultimately comforting or does it confront us with questions about our own identities and what we present to the world?

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