Emerson Pullman is a figurative painter who creates portraits that operate on the boundary between realism and abstraction. Often beginning with an initial drawing, he instinctively pushes forward by making marks and gestures using layers of transparent paint. The depiction of a figure in a scene is used as a starting point for imagining the deeper reality of what is being represented and as a framework to explore themes of time, memory, introspection and mortality.
The works draw inspiration from a variety of sources including Philip Guston’s abstract works and 16th century ‘non finito’ sculptures. Pullman is fascinated by the act of painting; leaving areas of the canvas unpainted and entirely unresolved contrasted with areas densely painted with defining figurative moments. This diversity of resolution through the materiality and expression of paint is an attempt for Pullman to mimic the way our eyes function and acts as an anthropocentric interrogation of our surroundings.