Pop Art Style: Paintings by Stephen Middleton
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.
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.