Depending on how you look at one of Lee Wagstaff’s paintings, you may see a pattern or a face. This is because the Berlin-based artist uses repeating geometric patterns in a uniform color to render his oil portraits, hiding facial features from the viewer until he sees his work from the right distance. .
“The source material is from AI-generated faces (none of the people depicted ever have or will ever exist in the real world),” Wagstaff told My Modern Met. “With these paintings, I wanted to see how the image data of the original faces could be altered, deleted or camouflaged while retaining the essence of the original shapes.”
To incorporate a portrait into the pattern, Wagstaff makes subtle changes to the design. In Morphic resonance, for example, it widens the features of the overlapping rings in key areas of the face – eyebrows, eyes, nose and lips – creating shadows in place of the features. The degree of refinement he is able to bring to the portrait depends on the finesse of the motif. Bolder designs like Fountain head, for example, reveal a slightly simpler face than more intricate designs like Definable appearance.
You can purchase original prints and paintings through Wagstaff’s online store and keep up to date with his latest designs by following the artist on Instagram.