Ruan Huisamen


Artist Bio

Vanity is the fear of appearing original: it is thus a lack of pride, but not necessarily a lack of originality.

-Friedrich Nietzche, Daybreak: Reflections on Moral Prejudice

The term realism is difficult to define. Flawless radiance pervades the depictions of human beings in popular culture, transforming the human body into one of godlike perfection. As my interest has always been people and their perceptions, my work emphasises and intensifies the features of the face, attempting to draw out my subject’s vulnerability and to an extent their humanity rather than conceal them behind a façade of immaculacy. My modus operandi consists of using photographs as a point of reference to draw on this medium’s ability to mediate reality and yet simultaneously distort it.

In my attempt to capture and communicate an intensely intimate presence of the subjects depicted in my work, they are rendered isolated and largely decontextualised within time and space – as something is millennially distant, akin to a platonic participatory exoticism. A turned head or the subtle twist of a body in the darkness can imitate classical sculpture and feel monumental, while grandiose compositions can easily engender sentimental, demagogic, or contrived interpretations.

From the viewer I ask only for them to observe, I never try to proselytize.

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