The artist who knows how to combine hyperrealism and surrealism is definitely Seth Armstrong. Although he sometimes changes his style, texture, and surfaces on which he works, what is constant in his paintings is the motif represented in the exploration of his surrounding, especially Los Angeles. His art shows the depth, beauty, and vacancy of big cities, revealing the secrets and tensions caught in the moment between action and inertia. The author is also famous for the voyeuristic elements that he includes in his art with incredible precision and details. The amazing traditional painting technique skills are transferred to canvas in shine colors and contrasts, thus blending them with the landscapes.
Seth Armstrong’s Education, Style, and Themes Seen in his Works
He was born and raised in LA, California. For some time he studied painting in Northern Holland, before receiving BFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Seth has chosen a looser, more painterly approach that helps him capture the dense of light and color. Controlled manipulation of dimension, alongside stylized hyper colors, which exceed the muted tones of the real, evokes the feelings of nostalgia and strangeness at the same time. Armstrong continuously explores themes that fascinate him, the intrigue of illicit looking that is on the edge of erasing lines between trespass and intimacy. Each of his pieces is a part of a larger narrative, in which tension and excitement increase as the expectation of some action grows.
Seth has chosen a looser, more painterly approach
The Projects and Inspiration
As the artist admits in an interview, the city of Los Angeles is what inspires him the most. It is a place that after being absent for nine years he can call a home. And it is not only the aesthetic that he is fascinated with, but also its history, so naturally, it had to find a way to be present in his oil paintings. Besides this, since he was young he depicted battle scenes between imagery stick figures armies. Armstrong gradually moved to drawing comic books, eventually coming to painting superheroes and girls. The project called Pretty Deep Shit is about author’s observation of LA, showing more cohesive and intimate arrest of the city, with all its freedom and fluidity which differs it from the others. In his another show The Air is Thick the accent is on voyeurism that captures people’s state of mind.
Since he was young he depicted battle scenes between imagery stick figures armies
Seth succeeds to make his artworks look as if they are fragments taken from movies that the audience sees in cinemas. His ideas create sublime narrative art of high quality and even bigger impact. Author’s paintings have been displayed in galleries and museums throughout the US, like at the Gallery Heist, in 2011 and Spoke Art, SF in 2012, the Vertical Gallery, Chicago in 2016, at the Bold Hype, New York in 2013, but also in other parts of the world like at the Urban Nation, Berlin in 2014, at the StolenSpace Gallery, London in 2015 and in many other places.
He is represented by the Thinkspace Gallery.
The artist lives and works in LA, USA.
Featured image: Seth Armstrong in front of his artwork – Photo via funkhaus.us
All other images courtesy of Thinkspace Gallery and the artist