Oil on wood
12 x 16 in.
Contact the artist for details

Portrait artist Lisa Kovvuri announces the launch of her new series of portraits: Beyond Appearances

Building on the success of her most recent solo exhibition, The Portrait Experience, at the Whistler House Museum of Art, Artist Lisa Kovvuri is taking the genre of portrait painting to a personal level. Beyond representing a likeness, her new series serves as a catalyst for making connections and getting at the heart of what it means to be human. She’s taking a hiatus from painting commissioned portraits to embrace her desire to paint people in a context that can address the emotional and psychological experiences we all share.

“In this series my focus is on emotional presence more than a person’s identity. The sitters inspire ideas about states of mind and emotional moments we can all recognize. I see these portraits as a kind of mirror of humanity. The models I’ve recruited represent a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures. I’m particularly drawn to people who I don’t typically encounter in my usual circles, people I can learn something from. Painting them bridges a gap for me. It cultivates empathy, and that’s an important personal aspect of my work.”

Although the new portraits strive to go beyond appearances, they depict appearances in a remarkable way. Departing from the more impressionist-leaning approach of her earlier work, these emphasize sculptural form, texture, intricate detail and attention to surfaces, offering viewers a much more intimate experience of the subject’s presence.

“That feeling of intimacy is important to me. I want people to be able to get up close and engage their senses, to feel free of barriers that may otherwise be there in real life.”

A recent painting from her Beyond Appearances series entitled Blue (pictured above), was a finalist in The Portrait Society of America Members only competition in December, 2019.

Paintings in the Beyond Appearances series are released through Lisa’s monthly e-newsletter. Sign up at to be sure to get a first viewing of each piece fresh off the easel. See more of Lisa’s work on her website at Get sneak peeks behind the scenes and of works in progress by following @lisakovvuri on Instagram and Facebook.