Raffi Kalenderian, ‘Charlotte’, 2013, Galerie Peter Kilchmann

The environment in which the artist puts his models - manly friends and family - are remarkably neutral compared to former works where a specific location, furniture and personal belongings formed a privacy that seemed to be indispensable. Only the shades - applied with thick paint - seem to reveal the true nature or a hidden truth. Lurking beneath the sitters with almost supernatural presence they might be mirroring the inner of their absent looking counterparts.

About Raffi Kalenderian

Raffi Kalenderian paints disaffected portraits of his young, ambivalent-looking friends against an ultra-flat two-dimensional space, the patterns on clothing and furniture forming elaborate abstractions. “The social aspect is incredibly meaningful to me,” he has said of his practice. “Technology can be so isolating, so sitting with a friend for a few hours and observing them, talking, is a great way to slow things down.” His work attempts to capture a total moment, not merely the sitter in isolation from their environment but the complete psychological framework in which they exist (sometimes depicting a doppelganger alongside his subjects to this end). In Matt Lydon (2008), an abstract network of patterns and lines surround the figure; a circle defines a rug and pillows emerge from small strokes of color. The sitter appears to struggle to break into three-dimensional form from the flat background, imbuing the work with a sense of angst and tension.

American, b. 1981, Los Angeles, California, based in Los Angeles, California