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  • Foto del escritorBegoña Lafuente

Embracing the Ambiguity: Semi-abstract portraits

Actualizado: 14 sept 2023

One of the most fascinating genres in the world of art is portraiture.


Capturing the essence and uniqueness of a person in a static image is itself quite a challenge, especially when working with semi-abstract portraits. These works play with your conventional perception, triggering a unique dialogue between the concrete and the abstract.


Semi-abstract portraits combine recognizable elements with abstract forms, blurring the boundaries between faithful representation of a person and subjective interpretation. Facial and bodily features are simplified to capture the inner essence of the person, rather than focusing on precision and photographic similarity.


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I am a declared fan of Matisse. I love how he captured the essence of form through his silhouettes. His ability to reduce shapes to their most basic elements inspires me, perhaps due to my extensive background in the world of design. I will never know who came first, the chicken or the egg.


In my portraits, I have used this synthesis to represent the faces in a semi-abstract manner, I am fascinated by how our brain tends to organize and group visual elements to form a coherent image. The abstract part in semi-abstract portraits it happens to be very fun as part of the process, allowing me to experiment.



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The contradiction in semi-abstract portraits arises from the tension between what we expect from a portrait and the abstract manipulation of visual language. By merging the recognizable with the abstract, these works stimulate our imagination and make funny games with our perception. You always look twice: They exist in an intermediate realm between the known and the unknown, challenging our preconceived notions and inviting us to question our conventional understanding.



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What I find awesome about semi-abstract portraits is the wide range of interpretations they can evoke in the viewer. I keep surprising myself everyday!. Subjectivity is unleashed by stripping the image of realistic details, and that makes us free. No more constraints of passive observation!. Each person can find their own connection with the artwork, projecting their individual experiences and personality. This subjective dialogue between you and the semi-abstract portrait adds depth and enriches your experience. That is after all what art is about.


As an observer, you have the power to shape the narrative, infusing the artwork with your unique perspective. So Go for it!




The blog is open to comments. Tell me what is on your mind




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