Vibrant Palettes and Fresh Perspectives
Artist and photographer Emily Lovejoy explores the subject of identity through surreal portraits. She has a background in Fine Art and combines photography with digital imagery and acrylics. The result is a mesmerizing world the viewer is welcome to enter and interpret, just like Alice in Wonderland.
I would describe my aesthetic as surreal portraiture, which is always evolving. I’m currently focusing on breaking down images to a basic structure to create minimal abstract portraits. In 2018, I embarked on a year-long project to create at least one abstract every day. Becoming comfortable with abstract painting paved the way for me to explore it in my portraiture.
Emily Lovejoy starts the artistic process by taking hundreds of photographs of a model. Then, she transforms the pictures into a digital artwork by overlaying them and adding layers of color, light, and shapes. Digital tools allow her to explore her surrealist inclination and create fascinating worlds. The last stage is painting, which can take up to three months for large pieces. Her workflow is constantly changing as the artist challenges herself to create fresh perspectives and embrace different approaches with each work.
I’m currently exploring new minimal portraits. It started with a painting I was unhappy with. I was struggling with the finished piece because I love the photo it came from, and the painting didn’t do it justice. So I ended up covering up the painting and leaving one eye and the mouth exposed, then working in a thick outline to define the figure, creating an entirely different aesthetic.
Identity is a difficult subject matter. People have many faces and masks, making it hard to conquer the inner space where the true spirit is. However, in Lovejoy’s work, the viewer is encouraged to be subjective and interpret her dreamy worlds as they wish. There is something poetic about the colors and transparencies she uses.
During the pandemic, the artist faced new challenges. She lost her job as a gallery director and embraced a new role as a portrait and real estate photographer. Lovejoy’s love for photography gave her fresh perspectives and pushed her work towards more abstract minimalist portraits.
Everything I’ve started in my new studio has been quite different from work created in the previous few years, and I’m enjoying the fresh perspective.
Article written by Monica Radulescu