Raffi Kalenderian

Region: Pacific Coast

I have been painting portraits since my time at UCLA. This practice, which began as a means to socialize and make work simultaneously, has morphed into a powerful way to experiment with the process of working with paint. Clothing and personal effects provide an entry to abstraction; ceilings and floors present opportunities to experiment with classical applications of stain and glaze. The majority of my paintings are made with live subjects. However, I combine elements from the sitting with found imagery and photographs to produce the final compositions. In this most recent body of work, I have been working with impasto, stain, and glaze. I apply the paint slowly and charge the paintings with psychoemotional information that creates a palpable atmosphere around the figures. I think of this work as unconventional portraiture, concerned less with the body of its muses than with the fragility of their psyche, the details of its surroundings, and the relationship between inner and outer states.