The subjects of Marina Sutter’s portraits seem to deliberately evade the viewer’s gaze. With their backs turned away from us, or with hair or clothing obscuring their faces, the people in her acrylic and oil on canvas paintings create an air of mystery, placing a distance between subject and viewer that only increases their interest. By not directly showing the faces of the people she depicts, Sutter strives to focus our attention on “the details in the human dialogue” rather than simply presenting an image of a person.
However, a large measure of the success of her paintings comes from her skill at assembling those details into pictures with a lifelike, near-photographic look. Capturing the textures of hair, skin, and clothing, as well as showing a strong eye for proportion and gesture, she endows each person with a powerful physical presence that makes their evasive gestures all the more provocative. Her adept handling of light and shadow adds a sense of depth and movement, further underlining the sense of contrast that makes her work unique. Sutter lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.