Portrait paintings don't just capture people's outward appearance, but often reveal aspects about the figure's life or character. Russian-German artist Tania Rivilis tries to convey people's inner life and feelings in her series of contemporary oil portrait paintings. She portrays the “human image” and the “dialectical concept of the human soul” through dynamic renderings of individuals and couples.
“Through my work, I try to explore the fragile nature of human relationships, to understand the complex process of the emergence of feelings and connections between two intricate universes,” Rivilis tells My Modern Met. “I am inspired by the endless fluctuations and multi-layered experiences in the souls of each participant of this infinite game.” She emphasizes the emotions of her figures with a bold color palette and numerous textures. Additionally, by using a wooden panel as the canvas, the oil paint takes on another “unconventional sound.”
Rivilis finds inspiration for her work through various sources, including art history and music. “My work was influenced by a variety of artists and movements, like Russian critical realism and the Peredvizhniki (the Wanderers group), who opposed official academic classicism with its outdated canons,” she explains. The portrait paintings are the culmination of her passion for forms, colors, and the world around her.