01 August 2010

Charles Pompilius

As it is with the amount of abstract expressionists in the daily painting world, so it is with strictly figurative artists—there are only a handful (I could list them, but please have mercy on me, I can only handle one review at a time). This limited number only goes to enhance the pleasure you feel when coming upon the work of Charles Pompilius. Already an accomplished figurative artist, Mr. Pompilius decided to join the ranks of daily painters in October of 2009 by posting small portraits, usually around 6” x 8”, to his blog “The Figure in Light.” Mr. Pompilius’ intimate portraits show us how fascinating light can be as it plays on the human form. While a few poses are a bit eccentric, which follow in line with his larger work (his dailies are in affect, smaller, simpler expressions of his larger work), he usually sets his models up in simple poses; anything from full body to just head and shoulders. And while these poses illustrate that he obviously knows how to compose a portrait, they also reveal his understanding and appreciation of light and form. One portrait shows a woman holding a rope dangling from who-knows-what or where, with her other arm up and across her face in an attempt to maybe shield herself from our prying gaze or maybe to show fear of something we cannot see. An interesting gesture, but quite frankly, I don’t care what she is doing—the pose, hues, and light expressed do not need reasoning, they are just beautiful as they are. The dance of light and figure is so important in portraying us humans in paint and Mr. Pompilius gracefully and beautifully wrangles the dance in a manner that is both pleasing and misleadingly simple in appearance. The arrival of Mr. Pompilius in the daily painting genre is both diversifying and welcome. For a unique and enjoyable daily painting experience, I suggest you go look at Mr. Pompilius’ work. His blog’s address is: www.cpompilius.blogspot.com.