• Katherine Stanek

Adam Vinson

The briliant work of Adam Vinson goes beyond contemporary realism. It is not just the masterfully rendered objects that leap off the canvas, but the powerful content, that lores you in.

Using the styles of tromp l'oeil and and contemporary realism, Adam Vinson reflects a balance of contemplation, humor and irony in his work. He believes that, for him, represtentational painting is the best direct route to forming both a visceral and cerebral connection with the viewer. ​​

In the artist's words, he describes the meaning behind the subject matter in two of his paintings:


A sanctum is a private, sacred space where one can find solace and peace. This painting represents personal and general examples of places and things, in the form of mundane objects, in which some take refuge.

For me, it is at the easel in front of the painting. It is a place where I can weigh my creativity, my technical abilities and my aspirations against the pressures of the outside world. The easel is my desktop, my cockpit, my typewriter. It has seen my worst and my best and it doesn’t judge. It just accepts.

In this picture we see this easel with a finished still life upon it. The still life is composed of objects that represent the corporeal, in the form of various vessels, a shell, a glass of milk. There are also examples of vices some use as their sanctum; their escape from reality. The composition within the still life is based on the yin and yang. A commentary on the interconnected duality of all things in nature.


"We Love Your Custom"

The vest in the painting is most likely from the Indus Valley of Afghanistan. It is decorated with intricate embroidered patterns and mirrors, and would have been worn for special occasions. In this context we see it draped upon a wire hanger with the distinct paper wrapping of a Western dry cleaning business whose thankful message to their patrons is “We Love Our Customers”.

However, here we see specific letters of this message obscured by the vest. If we were to read what is exposed in modern shorthand, we might decipher “we love your custom”. Herein is where I intended to juxtapose the relationship of two very different cultures and their current relationship in history. I prefer to leave the message vague and open to interpretation as it is not my intention to deliver any kind of concrete meaning. Clearly from the buttons pinned to the vest we can see a few messages eluding to patriotism, cynicism, faith and pacifism.

The wire hanger is intentionally not “hanging” on any sort of hook or nail. It is a painting and paintings can and should transcend reason. For me, this is a reminder that even though I spent so much time trying to execute verisimilitude with this picture, it is, after all, not reality.

Vinson maintains a rigorous exhibition schedule in venues around the country and has been featured in numerous publications. In 2009, Vinson was the recipient of the third place award in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

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