Shaun Downey, ‘Wave’, 2016, Bau-Xi Gallery

About Shaun Downey

Shaun Downey’s portraits draw on influences as varied as Dutch masters and comic books, grounding a centuries-long tradition of figure painting firmly in the present. Employing a realist style, Downey creates emotionally evocative portraits, mostly of women, in fully realized settings where the figure’s face and mood are equally informed by their environment. Downey’s avowed interest in figures such as Vermeer and Norman Rockwell becomes apparent in his attention to people going about their daily habits, such as a woman fixing her hair or washing her hands, always within a contemporary setting and garb. Similarly in the tradition of these aforementioned painters, Downey does not exclusively paint faces, often rendering his figures with their backs turned to the viewer. However, his hyperrealist style and manipulation of oil paints renders these compositions as evocative as his expressive front-facing figures.

Canadian, b. 1978