First Friday Picture Show: Realist Paintings by Adam Vinson

Recycled Minds Picture Show
by Adam Vinson on May 3, 2013

Ventriloquist (18x14) by Adam Vinson
This month's Picture Show features the paintings of Adam Vinson. Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa in 1978, Vinson began his artistic training studying commercial illustration at the Luzerne County Community College and continued his studies thereafter under the tutelage of Anthony Waichulis. Upon finishing the Waichulis Studio curriculum, he enrolled in the historically prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Momentary Things (20x16) by Adam Vinson
Using the styles of trompe l’oeil and contemporary realism, Vinson reflects a balance of contemplation, humor and irony in his work. He believes that, for him, representational painting is the best direct route to forming both a visceral and cerebral connection with the viewer.

He maintains a rigorous exhibition schedule in venues around the country and has been featured in numerous publications including American Art Collector, American Artist, Southwest Art, Stroke of Genius and American Arts Quarterly. In 2009, Vinson was the recipient of the third place award in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

Continue reading for the rest of the show!

We asked Vinson to say a few words about three of his paintings:

Pas de Deux (11x9) by Adam Vinson
"'Pas de Deux' is part of a small grouping of paintings I did for a figure-themed exhibit. Each painting is a trompe l'oeil of a vintage erotic photograph on a nondescript background. My paintings of this type are mostly about the photograph so I'm not doing anything more, in terms of content, than choosing a photo that can offer either an interesting narrative or a compelling composition. Sometimes I augment the photo or add elements that don't exist in reality to form a story but, in this case, I painted the photo as is. I found the pose of the figures more modern and artistic than erotic."

Abstraction/Expression (20x16) by Adam Vinson
"With 'Abstraction/Expression,' I wanted to try a significant trompe l'oeil painting that would convey a portrait without just painting a single photograph. I had done this segmented Polaroid thing once before with a still life as the 'big picture' but I was curious about doing it with a portrait. Luckily, Rachel, the model, came over with this groovy top and I think it just made the painting. Notice there are only curvilinear lines within the portrait. I think this does a lot to counterbalance the straight lines that stake claim in the individual 'photos.' Brava to Rachel for her help in this."

Bowling Pin (20x24) by Adam Vinson
"This is a good example of me taking unrelated objects, bringing them together in a painting and letting the viewer take interpretation for a spin. I wanted to put that bone and bowling pin together for some time but I had no grand contextual idea. I found the color and shape of each to relate in some way: the pin was fashioned and manufactured by man but the bone is something within man that is fashioned by something that's up for debate. So I just set up the still life and went to town. The only other elements are the old writing desk and the razor blade stuck in it. Let your imagination fill in the rest."

Enjoy the rest of Vinson's show here, then visit him online at

Baby Puts Out Old Flames (42x24) by Adam Vinson
Matthew in Oil (20x15) by Adam Vinson
Nimbus (24x30) by Adam Vinson
One Cool Cat (3.5x5) by Adam Vinson
One Tough Tater (6.5x8) by Adam Vinson
Pulled Over (8.5x5) by Adam Vinson
Punk Rock Ukulele (24x14) by Adam Vinson
Shiny New Thing (14x11) by Adam Vinson
Time Capsule (5x7) by Adam Vinson
To Every Muse Her Yo-Yo (14x11) by Adam Vinson
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  1. Julie2:17 PM

    I can't believe these are paintings! I looked at each picture two or three times, and it's really just incredible!

  2. Kristen3:57 PM

    Super cool! Especially like those vintage portrait recreations.

  3. Anonymous11:50 AM


  4. Anonymous9:47 PM

    Just joining in with the other commenters here. These are amazing, and it's hard to believe they're paintings. Great work!


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