Portrait paintings by Juan Vargas
Vargas uses uniquely detailed portraits that are painted in acrylics with undulating brush-strokes and fields of color to render the faces of artists, statesmen and family. Vargas has selected some of his heroes to paint, including Charlie Chaplin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Barack Obama and the artist’s wife and grandmother. The strong personalities of these subjects simmer under the surface of the paint, especially in the artist’s self-portrait.
“I am a painter, originally from Chile, and have lived in the United States for the past 33 years. In 1999 I had a massive stroke, which changed my life completely. Before the stroke, I was a graphic designer, designing books on art, food, mathematics, science and languages. Because I could no longer work or use my right hand after the stroke, I started drawing with my left hand. I have been developing my skills ever since. My influences are Van Gogh, Picasso, and Kahlo. I have drawn architecture and plant life, but now I am painting people who interest me.”