Blanck's Canvas

Graphic Portraits by Painter-Musician Sebastian Blanck

A former assistant to influential pop artist Alex Katz, Sebastian Blanck has spent the majority of the past decade working as a painter, exhibiting his serene pastel-toned collage paintings at galleries including Michael Steinberg Fine Art in New York, and Scott White Contemporary, San Diego, and publishing a series of books including I Love the Shower Girl (2003) and I Blame Baltimore (2007). Like Katz, whose reductive, flat-toned canvases paved the way for artists such as Julian Opie and Michael Craig-Martin, Blanck’s main obsession is portraiture. In his Lower East Side studio, shared with his wife Isca Greenfield-Sanders (a painter who has mounted solo shows at New York’s PS1 MoMA and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver), Blanck crafts intricate depictions of friends and family, including indie music stars Caroline Polachek of Chairlift and Yeasayer’s Chris Keating, working in layers of acrylic wash and colored paper—up to 800 pieces per painting—to recreate quiet moments captured in photographs. His intention is always to paint a “seamless” image, with the fine details of each work only becoming visible up close—a process that he says is “a metaphor for how you come to know somebody or have a relationship with somebody.”

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