Oil on linen
35 x 30 cm

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My goal for the painting was to test a traditional virtuoso style based upon principles in Restructured Realist painting methodology; to blend both short-hand descriptions of form (loose) with carefully calibrated details (fine). My choice to carefully deliberate structure and anatomy through life painting are the reasons I choose not to use photography. Using these foundations, I am able to focus my attention to capturing the nuance of natural light and architectural principles in anatomy, henceforth to portray Enuake both convincingly and naturally.

Enuake Sirikige is a New Zealand artist and designer of Cook Island and Thai descent. His partner Jasmine had sat for a number of my works in recent years. Like all of the models I employ, Enuake displayed an enthusiasm and spirit that I believe is captured in this portrait.

I had recently studied and appropriated two Rembrandt tronie (small portraits) from the 1630’s, so decided that painting Enuake’s tronie in the Dutch manner would be timely. Taking inspiration from 17th century Dutch tronie, with the use of dark backgrounds and Calvinist frugal decorum, I set about juxtaposing this aesthetic within a modern-day context. Beginning with drawing on paper and painted head studies Enuake sat for a total of thirty sittings‘.

– Zarahn Southon

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