Today we’d like to introduce you to Carl Grauer.


Born in rural Kansas, the youngest of four brothers to God-fearing conservative parents, Carl left to bigger pastures to complete his degrees in human biology and his MFA in medical illustration from the University of Kansas and Michigan, respectively. Upon the sudden death of his brother in 2012, He committed his life to an authentic pursuit to his passion of art making. He spent two years in London studying figurative and portrait painting with several studios and garnered success showing work internationally, including being shortlisted for the 2015 Wells Art Contemporary Award in the UK and exhibiting with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in London. Currently he is showing with Carrie Haddad in Hudson, NY. This fall Carl will be showcasing his “Two Hour Portraits” with The Loft at Liz’s in La Brea.


Can you give our readers some background on your art?

I am a contemporary portrait and figurative based artist working in oils. Much of my influence for these works has been through artists such as David Hockney, Paula Rego, Lucian Freud and Alice Neel to name a few. An example of my contemporary portraiture is a series called “Two Hour Portraits”. In this series, I paint subjects in a set amount of time. This project began in 2012 simply as a practice in which to better the technical skills as a painter. The main goal was to quicken the pace with mindful strokes in which to create a better likeness, but it became so much more. It continues to excite because of this element of time and the experience I get with each sitter. The time of two hours was chosen as it is a perceivable time in which a person could sit comfortably without distraction and a small enough time to serve as a challenge to render a full portrait. At the start of the project there were so many more challenges beyond just that short time. Whether it was the changing light of the day, fidgety sitters, or even just the conversation. These challenges have been embraced and enjoyed within my evolution of a maturing painter. There are many rewards to this project, even just the stillness of sitting for two hours without distraction. As a ritual, a timer is set, some music is put on and we begin. With each new sitter, there is a new story in tandem. We share funny stories, real life situations, some intense apolitical, philosophical or art discussions. Or we just sit. But in the end, together we create a link, a link between each other and another link in this chain of “Two Hour Portraits”.


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