I know exactly what I'm looking at and yet there's an abstractness. These large, figurative oil paintings by UK artist Simon Birch, who's based in Hong Kong, employ a distinct geometric approach but manage to contain a sense of realism. This duality reflects the medical trials that Birch faced when he was diagnosed and treated for a rare form of cancer in 2007. Equipped with brushes and a palette knife, Birch portrays the struggles and strengths of human health by creating various textures, some areas thickly concentrated with paint.
Birch also incorporates a multitude of colors. The colors are one of the most interesting aspects of this series. The use of contrasting colors in such close proximity to one another is visually intriguing. A brush stroke of sky blue in a full, black head of hair or a line of neon green on a bare arm next to a deep maroon stroke do not seem out of place in these portraits. They add to to Birch's theme of interweaving opposites.