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These Paintings are Colorful Human Tessellations

Richard Colman paints colorful works that abstract human bodies into geometric forms.

by Alyssa Buffenstein
Apr 23 2016, 1:00pm

Images courtesy of the artist

Take Matisse’s blue nudes, add a protractor, and you’re approaching the style of San Francisco-based painter Richard Colman. His use of rich blues, especially for female forms, updates Matisse’s well-known cutouts into pointer, more angular, and more populated compositions.

The flat, bright colors of Colman’s paintings may simulate digital illustration or graphic design, but his trippy human tessellations are old-school paint and canvas. Elements of human anatomy, simplified and abstracted, become repeated motifs, like disembodied heads used as candlestick holders.

Soft curves of human forms extend into interlocking geometric patterns, blurring the distinction between humanized forms and decorative ones. The content of his works doesn’t step too far away from the artist’s signature human motif, but that’s because painting people and their endless quirks just doesn’t get old.

“I've really liked painting figures for the last few years,” Colman tells The Creators Project. “There's an endless amount of material to work with. There is so much subtlety complexity behind every little thing we do. I just think about people and the way we are and I never run out of anything to paint about.”

See more of Colman’s work below.

Find out more about Richard Colman's work on his website.

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