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Brett Polonsky: Intensely Colorful, Large Scale Mixed-media Portraits

Seattle-based artist Brett Polonsky paints bright, geometric abstracts as well as large, dynamic portraits, often by combining acrylic paint, oil, colored pencil, pastel, and more onto a single canvas.

There’s a lot to take in, and I’ve only featured a few of his vibrant portraits below, so I’ll mention this now—after you scroll down, make sure to visit his website to see the rest of his paintings! :)

All right, first up for today is this untitled painting of a man in green glasses. You’ll quickly notice that Brett pushes the color spectrum in his paintings to the extremes, which helps create a sense of movement and life to his larger-than-life portraits

portrait 0315 EC

Even more intriguing are the fragments of words and phrases that frame this composition, and the white patch made of surgical gauze which covers athe upper corner of the subject’s glasses and left eye.

Since the guaze doesn’t seem to be bandaging a physical wound (it goes over the top of his glasses) perhaps it’s meant more as a visual metaphor. . . and whatever the case, it certainly makes for a compelling story within the painting!

In It’s Bill, below, Brett captures a face so full of mirth and anticipation that you can’t help but wish you knew Bill yourself!

its bill

Whether a well-aimed water balloon is flying through the air at this very moment (about to douse him!) or the punchline of a joke is profoking a loud guffaw, Bill is clearly full of good humor and easy-going confidence.

Lastly, this four-foot-tall portrait is one of Brett’s that probably will stay with you a bit longer. With a hounted look in his eyes, a cut (or scar) on his forehead and no way of telling you what happened, we’re left to assume that this person has gone through something horrible.

portrait 0515 HR

There’s nothing worse than having your voice taken away. . . because as much as this figure’s eyes can plead (and they do!) to some extent, he will always be held captive by his inability to communicate.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this small sample of Brett’s work; if you’d like to see the rest of his portraits, as well as his abstract paintings, please visit his website today.

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