Ethereal female figures emerge from metallic backgrounds in the striking paintings of Aiden Kringen. The California-based artist frames grayscale renderings of women with “shattered” pieces of gold, silver, and copper to create kaleidoscopic compositions that evoke a sense of mystery.
The fragmented technique used in the background is juxtaposed with the realistic approach used to make the human figures. This unexpected combination imbues the paintings with energetic tension. “I strive to take traditional realism and pare it down and reassemble it along a geometric framework that fits within a modern context,” Kringen says on his website. “For me, the process of painting a portrait or figure involves balancing between reality and abstraction, down to every single feature of the face or hand. I dissect the figure using line work, dividing between tone and texture, and then reconnect the pieces along invisible planes throughout the painting.”
Most of these enigmatic women appear through the wrappings of gold and silver with tranquil expressions, their eyes usually looking away from the viewer in a daze. The cracks that break up the metallic backgrounds extend into the bodies of the female figures, rupturing their skin in places, too. “My goal as an artist is to encapsulate idealized beauty through a cracked or broken lens,” he explains. “I respect the purity and beauty of the human essence while accepting that it is imperfect, and therefore depict it through a process of fractalization.”