BEAUTY IS THE MEANING OPENS AT BENDER GALLERY
Magical Portraits by Seth Haverkamp
Bender Gallery is excited to present Beauty is the Meaning, a solo exhibition of extraordinary figurative paintings by internationally acclaimed portrait artist Seth Haverkamp. Haverkamps’ paintings are, in a word, gorgeous. They mesmerize the viewer with a masterful interplay of light and dark. His realistic yet expressive portraits capture the beauty and confidence of the subject. Haverkamp’s paintings often feature unusual and enchanting props, as if the subject were a character in a play. The exhibition runs from November 4 through November 30 during the gallery’s regular business hours. There will be an opening reception for Haverkamp on Saturday November 6, from 6 to 9 PM.
Haverkamp describes his style as “expressive realism” and derives his primary inspiration from beauty - color, form, and the drama of light. He does not draw his subjects before painting but paints directly onto the canvas in a loose and painterly style, often incorporating four or five layers of paint. “It’s liberating to not stress about getting it right all at once,” Haverkamp says. He explains that his “secret” is that he is not a realist; he uses whatever color he wants to, disregarding long-held views about warm light and cool shadow.
Haverkamp has created many commissioned portraits and uses live models, but his chief subject and love is his children. They always take him to new heights of creativity and beauty. He is influenced by the renowned American realist painter Andrew Wyeth and by Viennese Secessionist painter Gustav Klimt (which is especially clear in Haverkamp’s dappled multicolor backgrounds). Haverkamp’s paintings are imaginative, full of passion and emotion. His paintings push beyond portraiture to convey a narrative with an element of intrigue. As for the meaning of the work, Haverkamp states, "The meaning? It is found in beauty. At the moment, that's enough".
Haverkamp attended Cleveland Institute of Art and Memphis College of Art before earning his B.A. degree in painting from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN in 2003. In 2004, he studied at Studio Incamminati with acclaimed artist Nelson Shanks who is known for his commissioned portraits of Princess Diana and Bill Clinton, among other notable figures. Haverkamp later studied with another renowned portrait painter, Robert Liberace, who had a profound influence on him. With Liberace, he felt the freedom to develop his own methods and style as an artist. Haverkamp is an accomplished teacher himself and regularly holds workshops throughout the United States.
Haverkamp received the Portrait Society of America’s International Competition Draper Grand Prize in 2019 for Mars Rising, a painting of his son in front of a full-length mirror holding a string of origami birds. A portrait of his daughter Echo earned him Best in Show in the 2008 competition. Haverkamp was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in the Portrait Society’s 2011 show. He won the “People’s Choice Award” in the 2013 for a painting of his daughter Essie as well as “Top Honors” in the same competition in 2013 and 2014. Seth was also a finalist and received an award from the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Art Renewal Center’s international painting competition in the portraits category.