Magical Moments
American Art Collector|September 2019

Haynes Galleries presents a new exhibition of Seth Haverkamp’s intricately designed portraits.

John O ’Hern

Seth Haverkamp’s portraits are attractive. They draw you in. The models are not props for the artist to demonstrate his skills—beautifully rendered but devoid of life. They are alive in their moment, inviting us to join them. The models, themselves, are attractive—often, one of his four children or his painter wife, Catherine. Comfortable in their own skin, they are collaborators with the artist when they talk about a pose for a painting.

After our conversation, Haverkamp followed up with a message: “In almost all of my paintings the subject is looking at us. I want there to be a connection (an immediate one) between the viewer and the person in the painting. Whether they are talking to you or you are talking to them is up for interpretation. Maybe they are viewing you the same way you are viewing them.”

He eschews “meaning” in his work. “My students think my paintings mean something. Subconsciously they may mean something,” he says. “Consciously, they don’t. People think there’s more in them than I put in. Truthfully, they’re solely visual. They’re an interesting looking child doing an interesting thing.”

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