Seth Armstrong in front of his artwork

Seth Armstrong

United States

Hyperrealism, Painting

Seth Armstrong
Seth Armstrong
United States
May 8, 2017

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 and robert wood new oil paper work canvas 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017
Seth Armstrong – House Party (Left) / Cars (Right)

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

Seth Armstrong contact new robert wood april view canvas and paper 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016
Seth Armstrong – Katherine’s Window (Detail)

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 Armstrong 2015 oil work 2013 april view 2008
Seth Armstrong – Black Couch

The Exhibitions

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
All other images courtesy of Thinkspace Gallery and the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017Pretty Deep ShitThinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, USASolo
2016Seth ArmstrongScope Miami, USASolo
2016LAX-ORDVertical Gallery, Chicago, USAGroup
2016Seth ArmstrongScope New York, USAGroup
2016Far From MeJosef Filipp Galerie, Leipzig, GermanyGroup
2015LAX-LHRStolenSpace Gallery, London, UKGroup
2015Invisible CollegeFort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USAGroup
2015LAX-DTWInner State Gallery, Detroit, USAGroup
2015Decade 1Redletter1, Tampa Bay, USAGroup
2015Small Works InvitationalBaker Hesseldenz Fine Art, Tuscon, USAGroup
2015The Air Is ThickThinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, USASolo
201520 Years Under the Influence Of JuxtapozMunicipal Art Gallery, USA Group
201510 Years Of ThinkspaceThinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, USA Group
2014LAX-SFOHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, USA Group
2014LAX-TXLUrban Nation, Berlin, Germany Group
2014Scope NYSkylight at Moynihan Station, New York, USA Group
2014Pow Wow Exploring the New Contemporary Art Movement Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, USA Group
2013Scope Miami BeachScope Pavillion, Miami Beach, USA Group
2013Lovin Thy NeighborThinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, USASolo
2013LAX-PHILGallery 309, Philadelphia, USAGroup
2013VanguardThinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2013KindredBold Hype Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2012SynergySpoke Art, San Francisco, USAGroup
2012Wild At HeartThinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2011Alcatraz Symposium on Justice and FreedomAlcatraz Island, SF, USAGroup
2011Beyond EdenMunicipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2011ImpetusJoseph Gross Gallery, University of Arizona, USAGroup
2011Another Thing ComingGallery Heist, SF, USASolo
2011There It Is: Brett Amory, Adam Caldwell, and Seth ArmstrongThinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2010111 and 111111 Minna Gallery, SF, USAGroup
2010Till Death Do Us PartGallery Heist, SF, USAGroup
2010Well There You AreThinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2010The Next GenerationLondon Miles Gallery, London, UKGroup
2010Fort Big Mountain, Seth Armstrong and Christopher Russell111 Minna Gallery, SF, USAGroup
2009Aqua Art MiamiWynwood, Miami, USAGroup
2009Now or NeverGallery Heist, San Francisco, USAGroup
2009Insert Metaphor HereSeth Armstrong and Adam 5100, Redletter 1, Tampa Bay, USAGroup
2008Where So Ever You May GoRowan Morrison Gallery, Oakland, USAGroup
2008Vanguard at Art BaselThinkspace, Miami, USAGroup
2008RoMoLoCoGroupShowRowan Morrison Gallery, Oakland, USAGroup
2008Common Descent111 Minna Gallery, SF, USAGroup
2008Bay Area Now and LaterCricket Engine Gallery, Oakland, USAGroup
2008My ViceSpace Gallery, San Fracisco, USAGroup
2007RoMoLoCoGroupShowRowan Morrison Gallery, Oakland, USAGroup
2007GroundedSouthern Exposure, San Francisco, USAGroup
2007In Your EyesThe Rec Center, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2007ArtfestGallery One, San Francisco, USAGroup
2007Modern MythsMJ Higgins Gallery and Grey Area Gallery, Los Angeles and San Francisco, USAGroup
2006EmergeGenArtSF, San Francisco, USAGroup
2006The Bible and StuffBruce Galleries, San Francisco, USASolo
2006You, Me, NowHangar 1018, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2006VelotreeSpace Gallery, San Francisco, USAGroup
2005ExpoBruce Galleries, San Francisco, USAGroup
2005The TourPapa Dutch Gallery, Groningen, The NetherlandSolo
2005The Day Before I LeaveHangar 1018, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2005The Foreigners Paint GoodAcademie Minerva, Groningen, The NetherlandGroup
2004Them ApplesCenter Gallery, Oakland, USAGroup
Seth Armstrong and Brian Mashburn Present their Art at Thinkspace

The art of Seth Armstrong and Brian Mashburn will be presented in two parallel exhibitions at Thinkspace Gallery, titled Pretty Deep Shit and Axiom.

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Seth Armstrong: The Air is Thick

A new body of work by Seth Armstrong coming for a show at Thinkspace Gallery plays with the notions of voyeurism and gives a curious look into the lives of others...

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