There’s a palpable energy in every brush stroke of Salman Khoshroo’s enormously striking large-scale palette knife portraits. Khoshroo masterfully maneuvers the tool so that the paint seems to ooze off of his canvases and amass into dynamic figures full of tension and intensity.
Currently based in Tehran, Khoshroo is a self-taught painter who originally obtained his degree in digital arts. He first started painting in 2009 when the political atmosphere in Iran forced him to spend more time in his studio. Khoshroo’s style quickly evolved into abstract art, expressionism, and fauvism. In an interview with Yatzer, he shares that his interest in omitting the human face is two-fold. For one, the works are expressions of identity and self-presentation in the age of Facebook. Secondly, this choice is all the more meaningful in his home country, where women have to cover up the rest of their bodies.
Most of Khoshroo’s figures from his 2016 Wanderer series are immense (standing several feet tall) and are composed of intricate, precise strokes—a technique he began experimenting with in 2015. As seen in his portraits below, he does this by spreading and smearing colors directly, using palette knives rather than paintbrushes. The results are highly abstract images composed of bold strokes of saturated oil paint, combined with an intensity of texture to achieve visuals reminiscent of Impressionist paintings.