Seth Haverkamp, “Essie’s Feathers,” oil on panel, 24 x 36 inches

Both imaginative narrative and artistic talent are on display during Haynes Galleries’ current exhibition. This rising star in American contemporary realism captures drama and emotion in figure paintings that are sure to captivate collectors and connoisseurs alike.

At their Thomaston, Maine, location, Haynes Galleries is current showcasing the exciting figurative works by rising star Seth Haverkamp. Hanging through September 9, “The Magical & Mystical Paintings of Seth Haverkamp” is sure to captivate audiences through the artist’s creative use of color, innovative composition, and deeply moving narrative.

Seth Haverkamp, “Penelope,” oil on linen, 24 x 18 inches
Seth Haverkamp, “Essie’s Crane,” oil on panel, 35 1/2 x 23-1/2 inches

As the gallery writes, “For the last several years, Haverkamp has been consistently creating some of the most noteworthy portraits of contemporary representational art. Haverkamp’s paintings are bold images of the people in his life — his children, family, and friends. The paintings though are remarkably universal. They take one moment in time and capture drama, emotion, and mystery with color and care.”

Seth Haverkamp, “Feathers and Fur,” oil on panel, 30 x 22 inches
Seth Haverkamp, “Fairy Wings,” oil on panel, 36 x 22 inches

Specifically, Haverkamp has a unique way of composing his backgrounds, which consist of a nondescript mix of studio backdrops and delicate paint splatter. The addition of rather odd accessories — such as sheets, fabric, twigs, feathers, and headdresses — in combination with his ephemeral backdrops, imbues the works with an enchanting, storybook quality.

Seth Haverkamp, “Fable,” oil on panel, 24 x 18 inches
Seth Haverkamp, “Essie’s Unicorn,” oil on panel, 24 x 36 inches

“Haverkamp has said about all his portraits that he just tries to paint what is beautiful and what he finds interesting,” the gallery continues. “There is no planned deeper meaning to them. The inspiration can hit at any moment. Usually one of his children will be doing something in their home — playing with a toy, building something, dressing up — that Haverkamp finds visually interesting. He’ll recreate the activity and the moment in the studio to get it just right to capture in paint.”

Seth Haverkamp, “The Crane,” oil on linen, 29 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches

Admittedly, however, both admirers of his work and the gallery find it difficult not to probe for deeper meaning behind his works. “They are full of intrigue and visual splendor,” the gallery says. “[The exhibition] compels viewers to look longer, to explore the mystery, and revel in the visually alluring images of a distinct voice in contemporary realism.”

To learn more, visit Haynes Galleries.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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