Berlin-based artist Lee Wagstaff creates abstract paintings with a secret. While at first glance you may be immersed in the myriad of intricate patterns that cover the canvas, take a step back and you will discover a human face staring back at you. Each of his paintings features an AI-generated portrait of a face concealed within the repetitive shapes of the drawing.
There is no magic in his process, however. It is simply a matter of subtly altering the pattern in places to convey an individual’s facial features. Typically, this requires Wagstaff to invert the colors or widen the lines, which in turn creates the illusion of shadow and depth. The darker areas of the drawing help create the outlines of the eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips and face shape, emerging from the print.
The reason the paint looks different depending on the distance you are standing at is the level of contrast. Any subtle changes Wagstaff made to the pattern become more apparent at a farther distance and you can see the face more clearly. Additionally, paintings that use more intricate designs reveal more detailed faces, and vice versa for minimalist designs.
Berlin artist Lee Wagstaff creates brilliant portrait paintings using repeating geometric patterns.
Up close, it all looks like hypnotic patterns in vibrant colors.
Once you take a step back, you can see a face staring at you.
My Modern Met has granted permission to feature photos of Lee Wagstaff.
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