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Take a step back and it’s obvious that Panjarat Polpluek’s portraits focus on the female face and form. But as you move closer to the young Thai artist’s eye-catching paintings, lines become blurred, distorted. What first looked like ten colours soon turns into myriad shades, all subtlely blending into the next yet still maintaining strict divisions. A smooth canvas takes on a thick textured appearance with acrylic added by a heavy but carefully calculated hand to create layers upon layers of paint.

While today’s world of Photoshopping andsocial media filters leave an unnaturally smooth, even sterile, portrayal of femininity, Panjarat’s use of colour and texture plays up layers of beauty, personality and individuality that may not have been apparent at first glance.

Panjarat’s signature technique of overlapping paint in varying colours, weights and shapes creates a unique texture that lets the viewer see different layers of the subject’s personality while also symbolising the layers that hide them from the world.

“Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see.” – Philip Guston

For her Look at Me series, Panjarat wanted to address the idea of modern femininity and how beauty can be interpreted infinite ways. Fascinated by colours from a young age, she honed her technical skills in university graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. While in school, she also learned that art goes beyond simply making an aestheticallypleasing piece of work; fine art involves being able to think critically, see things differently and interpret information in new ways. When creating pieces for this particular collection, Panjarat attempted to go beyond first appearances, spending time with people who caught her attention and getting to know their personality – the true person underneath the facade. From there, she’d make a sketch of the face while also envisioning which colours would bring the model’s individual identity and inner being to life on canvas. 

While real people inspire her work, the end result is a blend of reality and creative interpretation with each piece utilising a completely different colour set. 

Though Panjarat also works with other mediums and styles, her textured acrylic pieces are what have most caught galleries’ eyes across Bangkok with the likes of Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC), Subhasok The Arts Centre (SAC) and Joyman Gallery exhibiting her work.

To see where she’ll be featured next or to inquire about purchasing pieces while in Thailand, connect with Panjarat on: Instagram at @F.on.n.92 or email [email protected]

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