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Human Gestures: Art by Scott Lee

A charcoal drawing of a smiling homeless manHappy with a smile, charcoal

Currently based in Denver, Colorado, Scott Lee is an artist who works to capture a sense of narrative and emotion in simple human gestures. The artist’s currently portfolio is especially focused on dignified portrayals of poor and homeless people.

A charcoal drawing of an elderly woman smoking a cigaretteUntitled, charcoal


I’m quite impressed by the works in Scott’s gallery of charcoal portraits. The subjects in this gallery are mostly elderly and identified by the artist as homeless, though the viewer isn’t given much concrete information about the subject. This sense of mystery serves to enforce the importance of what the artist has chosen to portray. The portraits offer a jarring close-up of marginalized faces, with backgrounds totally blacked out as if to further encourage a viewing dialogue with the face of the subject.

A screen capture of Scott Lee's art websiteThe front page of Scott's art website


These works sit in something of a contrast to the rest of Scott’s portfolio, where equal attention is paid to the settings and backgrounds. I find the artist’s photographs interesting – unlike many photographers, Scott doesn’t seek to capture the reality of a scene, but instead fabricates his own circumstances from memory, creating a vibrant, almost surreal photographic plane.

A staged photo of a family fishing trip gone awryHooked, photograph


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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