An expression of the contemporary experience, these paintings tell the stories of ordinary people from all walks of life. My way of working is a combination of digital technology, photography, and most importantly, time intensive and complex oil painting techniques grounded in atelier traditions. I begin with photography of my subject, and use the projection of the picture as a basis for the layered painting process on linen, drawing and recomposing the lines, combining turpentine and oil, blocking in the base to achieve value and color. As I go, I add oil to my medium to achieve a wet on wet process, refining with highlights and darkness. This process and construction of a painterly image can take months and as such responds to the historic legacy of portraiture, while expressing a distinctly contemporary experience of the world.
While my process is undeniably ensconced in the ways of academic painting, my subjects are by no means the traditional type; rather I search for people who have a certain emotional clarity. They might meet your glance head on, while still others just have a remarkable beauty that seems somehow unusual. The composition of each portrait is achieved by finding that place between the humorous and poignant, a kind of intimacy that goes beyond my relationship with the model. A sense of seeing and ardor extends to the viewer and makes a memorable picture. These sensations are an important part of my practice. For example, intimacy and a certain tenderness is also at the core of my Oyster still life series. These studies of the inner beauty of such succulent creatures express a certain robust appreciation of the tactile, the feminine and as such my identity as a woman. This is further reflected in my nude works, and I would ask my viewers to consider that I am a woman painting nude women, and my work reflects both the challenge and richness of this experience. It seems that they emerge from my pictures alternately bold and vulnerable and yet always beautiful even in the most unconventional ways. This intricacy is meant to reflect the diverse nature of the human experience. Such inclusiveness and complexity of intention connects my work to the current of realist work today, a new genre that simultaneously embraces studio painting and engages in questions of identity, race, beauty, and gender.
American painter and photographer Nadine Robbins’ (b. 1966) contemporary style is a master command of academic painting techniques and an irreverence for rules, gender and beauty. Nadine has earned great admiration for her defiant nudes, mysterious and honest portraits and the lush precision of erotic still lives of oysters.
Her award winning portraiture is and has been featured in various publications and online media such as, American Art Collector Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, the Huffington Post and Artsy as well as internationally praised exhibits of contemporary figurative and realist fine art. Most recently, she was nominated to BUZZFEED as one of Top 100 Oil Painters Working Right Now and is a featured artist in American Art Collector Magazine’s November 2017 Issue.
Nadine’s masterful use of luscious , jewel toned paint and fidelity to attention ties the artist to the late twentieth century and contemporary traditions of hyper-realism, photo-realism, and super-realism.
Since her first premiere solo show at the Brill Gallery in Mass, 2009, she has been selected for the special issue of “Formation” produced by Poets & Artists Magazine show at Bernaducci Meisel, New York in January, 2017. Her recent international exhibitions include Museo de Arte Moderno de Barcelona, Spain 2016, Sala Bantierra de Zaragoza, Spain, 2016, Sirona Fine Art, South Florida in both 2015-2017, the Robert Lange Gallery in Charleston, 2016-2017; and RJD Gallery’s Women Painting Women annual exhibition in both 2016 and 2017.
Robbins’ work has been acquired into several important private collections, most notably the Howard A. & Judith Tullman Collection, Chicago. In 2015, Robbins was selected for the special feature Poets and Artists, 50 Memorable Painters. With multiple projects and exhibitions presented in the near future, including her first solo exhibition in New York City in the Fall of 2018, her career trajectory has established itself at a speed that it is gathering the attention of curators, dealers and gallery owners around the world.
©2017 Rosa JH Berland