He Sen. Paintings
Chinese painter He Sen (born 1968) has been gaining increased attention for his exquisite photorealist paintings of young women. His subjects wear lingerie or pajamas as they strike casually, almost naively seductive poses and fix languid, near-vacant stares off into the distance, at a blaring television, or directly at the viewer. These women are rendered almost exclusively in blacks and grays, and the surfaces of their skin and nylon stockings have an eerily smooth texture. He’s paintings blatantly mobilize the sexualized beauty of their nymphets, yet the only moments of color in these shadowed portraits are all inanimate commodities: copper bangle bracelets, a splash of pink lipstick, a goblet of wine. And the only traces of a classically expressive hand are to be found in the practically Impressionist plumes of smoke that issue from the models’ cigarettes: ephemeral, polluted, fatal.
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