I paint other humans in order to explore my own humanity. I spend tens of hours with each of these faces, learning.  These works take a long time, whole multitudes of days, months or even sometimes years to finish one portrait.  I live with them, embrace the person whom I'm painting and become ever so slightly that being so that I might recreate this person in paint.  

My portraiture is inextricably intertwined with photography.  I take my photos first and then paint that which truly captivates me.  I would not be able to create these portraits without a cameras ability to capture that perfect "decisive moment".  From that moment, though, the painting takes on it's own new life.

I paint portraits of people with expressions which speak to a greater human condition.  I aim not to just recreate a person but rather to recreate an emotion which resonates with others; we have all felt what these portraits are expressing.  

Portraits speak to us humans on a most basic level.  Everyday we study each others faces, our innate knowledge of the human face is perhaps that which we know more than anything.  From this it follows that anyone is instantly able to judge a portrait - we know when the eyes are off, when the mouth is just a little bit crooked, when the cheeks go flat.  There is very little room for error in creating these works; I am unable to hide behind artistic license or abstract ideas.  I either capture perfectly the person and deftly create reality with a brush or I do not.  

I layer paint slowly, methodically and meticulously upon the surface of the painting exploring and understanding the minute details of a persons skin.  I build up slowly, each layer leaving notes and makers for the next.  This web of color creates a luminosity radiating life in a way one must experience to understand.

A painting of a man looking straight at the viewer smiling wearing a jacket, collard shirt and tie.
Michael by Kyle Parker Cunningham
Two women wearing masks gaze at the camera the one on the right with her arm over the shoulder of the woman on the left.
Cydney and Val by Kyle Parker Cunnigham
A woman with dreadlocks looking up.
Jeannie by Kyle Parker Cunningham
A man looks to the left while wearing a yellow hat and striped green and blue shirt.
Self Portrait by Kyle Parker Cunningham
An old woman with weathered face looks slightly down while clutching her hand to her shoulder holding a shawl around her.
Nana by Kyle Parker Cunningham