These images might look like double exposure photographs, but they’re actually works rendered in oil paint. Spanish artist Cristian Blanxer expresses his subjects’ movements, inner thoughts, and environments by painting them as surreal, multi-layered portraits.
In some works, Blanxer captures the movements of his subjects, showing both their past and present positions at once. One painting depicts a dancer as she bends her body towards a chair and kicks her leg upwards. Blanxer paints her pose twice in differing opacities, creating a ghost-like effect. The talented artist is also able to achieve motion within a still image; it almost looks as though his subject could float away from the canvas.
Blanxer’s other works are rendered in his signature, multilayered style. But rather than repeating the subject, he paints city scenes within their contours. Conceptually, each piece emphasizes how our personal environments are part of who we are, and how our surroundings shape who we become.
When he’s not painting on canvas, Blanxer creates large-scale murals all over the world. In Berlin, he covered the side of an apartment building with a double exposure portrait of a young girl that's titled Little Giants. The impressive work alludes to the human tendency to get lost in the hubbub of city life without taking the time to appreciate the beauty that’s all around us. “We seek fulfillment and want to find ourselves and be grounded—we look for the next and look down [to] our phones,” says Blanxer. “But what if we looked up and the blue sky would assure us that there is hope, warmth, and stillness.”
Check out Blanxer’s portrait paintings below and find more from his portfolio on his website.