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Pop Art Style: Paintings by Stephen Middleton

A painting in red and orange colours of a woman sitting in a long dressNice Dress, acrylic on canvas

Stephen Middleton paints in a highly graphic, pop art style. His close-up portraits and urban scenes are simplified into stark shadows and blocks of colour.


Stephen’s subject matter is often scenes of his hometown of Vancouver, BC as well as painted renditions of famous celebrity portraits. The artist works mostly from photographs, simplifying the image to make it bolder and more interesting. I like the way Stephen uses geometric shapes in some of his paintings, not in a way that overpowers the image, but instead layering them over portraits as if they are sheets of translucent colour gel.


A portrait painting of a drag queen with overlaid squares of colourDivine Colour, acrylic on canvas

A front page screen capture of Stephen Middleton's

I find Stephen’s incorporation of his own signature into his paintings rather interesting. Sometimes, particularly in portraits, it runs up the full length of one side of the painting. The name in big block letters creates a poster aesthetic, adding interest to an already striking painting. 

A painting of the reflection of a building in glass skyscraper windowsHastings and Burrard, acrylic on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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