Ex­plor­ing Style

Avant was the Sec­ond Prize win­ner of In­ter­na­tional Artist mag­a­zine’s Chal­lenge No. 106, Peo­ple & Fig­ures.

American Art Collector - - Dominic Avant -

Flor­ida-based artist Do­minic Avant finds that he is con­stantly chang­ing, whether it be life changes, new ideas from things that pique his cu­rios­ity or an ex­plo­ration in his style. In some of his lat­est works, view­ers will no­tice his in­fu­sion of im­pres­sion­ism and re­al­ism with con­tem­po­rary el­e­ments. He also finds the push of tech­ni­cal com­po­nents con­tin­ues to “re­in­force what­ever emo­tional re­sponse I am try­ing to con­vey.”

His award-win­ning paint­ing Re­pose, for in­stance, “strongly demon­strates this with much of the back­ground han­dled with sim­ple shapes and masses let­ting the eye flow through­out the paint­ing. I painted im­pres­sion­is­ti­cally with ab­stract el­e­ments,” he ex­plains. “The fig­ure, how­ever, re­tained a more clas­si­cal re­al­ism where I mod­eled the form.” When paint­ing the work, Avant wiped down and scraped back paint with large brushes, bring­ing back the sim­plest mass and state. “In other words, I will al­ways search for the tool to give me the spe­cific ef­fect I need for the emo­tional re­sponse I need in the paint­ing,” he says. “Even be­fore the brush hits the can­vas the first time, I am vi­su­al­iz­ing and plan­ning what I want to achieve and how to do it. It’s beau­ti­ful when I am able to man­i­fest ex­actly what I imag­ine the paint­ing to be.”

Avant, who prefers to do smaller stud­ies to get fa­mil­iar with his sub­ject mat­ter, cre­ated two life stud­ies as pre­lim­i­nary work for Re­pose, in­clud­ing Study of Bianca. “I wanted an hon­est study of the model. Life stud­ies are cru­cial to help me be­come fa­mil­iar with the model’s like­ness and the emo­tional shifts that hap­pen through­out the sit­tings,” Avant shares. “It is with these stud­ies that I get to un­der­stand the model on a more per­sonal level.”

He also has found in­spi­ra­tion for his

work by watch­ing his chil­dren ex­plore their en­vi­ron­ments, es­pe­cially the shore­lines and beaches near their home. Loung­ing fea­tures his son Devin as the model. “I was do­ing stud­ies of man­groves when I no­ticed Devin tak­ing a break from fish­ing,” the artist ex­plains. “I seized that mo­ment. I love cap­tur­ing my own chil­dren in their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.”

That in­ter­ac­tion be­tween peo­ple and their sur­round­ings is one that runs through­out Avant’s work, and is high­lighted by cap­tur­ing the in­ner thoughts of his sub­jects. “I want to cre­ate their story at that mo­ment in time. This is what drives my nar­ra­tives, and I think is what makes me dif­fer­ent as a por­trait artist and a land­scape artist,” Avant says. “It’s the artist’s job, I be­lieve, to al­ways ob­serve and be faith­ful in paint­ing all of those sto­ries and feel­ings—both mine and the world I am paint­ing. That spir­i­tual con­nec­tion be­tween all of it is the gift to the artist and hope­fully the viewer as well.”

3Loung­ing, oil on linen, 30 x 40"

4Re­pose, oil on linen, 24 x 22". This paint­ing re­ceived the Sec­ond Prize in In­ter­na­tional Artist’s Chal­lenge No. 106, Peo­ple & Fig­ures.

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