Like many artists, past and present, San Francisco-based painter Jacob Dhein draws inspiration from the world around him. But rather than categorizing himself as a landscape or figurative artist, Dhein paints both. Her work depicts everything from vibrant cityscapes to painterly portraits, but her beautifully expressive style is consistent throughout. “Inspiration for me comes from everywhere,” Dhein told My Modern Met. “It could be someone I see on public transport, my family, friends, movies, books, or a beautiful backlit city scene at sunset as I walk around.”
While Dhein’s oil paintings depict real subjects and scenes, the artist pushes the boundaries of realism by adding bursts of vibrant color with expressive brushstrokes and subtle drops of paint. “My goal is to explore the beauty that lies in the division between representation and abstraction,” reveals the artist. “This will be my take on a modern impressionism using the figure and the cityscape as building blocks of this contemporary genre.”
Each painting is highly textured and full of visible energy. As a viewer, you can almost imagine watching Dhein work as he quickly layers color swatches onto the canvas. “There is a visual map in many works that allows the viewer to see my process,” says Dhein. “This is particularly evident in my paintings of dancers. From the initial panel tone to the last mark, the viewer is able to see the process after close inspection.
Check out some of Dhein’s oil paintings below and find out more about his portfolio on his website. If you feel particularly inspired by his work, the artist runs painting workshops in various museums and galleries. Find out more here.
San Francisco-based artist Jacob Dhein’s expressive oil paintings take inspiration from the world around him.
Animated urban landscapes …
Expressive portraits …
… To living figurative work.
His impressive style is a modern blend of realism and abstraction.