The Portraits of Abby Sangiamo
Throughout his prolific career, Abby Sangiamo has produced bountiful series of extraordinary work with gravitas and bravado, including a terrific collection of animals and an elegant meditation on trees, but his penchant is his lengthy engagement with the human condition deftly visualized in the form of the portrait. Apart from his technical ability and his daring stylistic treatments, Sangiamo’s portraits are a remarkable personal visual diary, the subtext of which expression, body language and adornment build the foretaste of a series that contains pathos—the stranger-than-life fiction. And what is at the heart of these works is an artist who observes, drawing from life and breathing character into each subject, destining the lot into a repository of truth. The hallmark of these pieces stands somewhere between tradition and contemporary art, but ultimately remains unshakable.
Abby completed 700 nude or semi-nude portraits in this series. Each drawing is 22 x 28″ on BFK Rives or Arches Cover paper and is expressed in a variety of drawing mediums such as pastel, charcoal and graphite. The selection of works in this gallery were created as early as 1972. Abby revisited a few of these works and embellished them throughout the 2000s.
Note: titles of artworks include numbers for reference and does not necessarily imply their order of creation.