Gavin Rain

Gavin Rain: the artist who brings iconic faces to life through the mathematical use of colored dots!

Behind every portrait of Gavin Rain, a South African artist who, starting from pointillist research, arrives at a reflection on visual perception, there are at least two-three weeks of preparatory studies. A mathematical work where, through the use of a grid and a projector, the artist breaks down the shape into colours, giving life to works that appear purely abstract up close, while from afar, they reveal themselves in all their essence and power figurative.

Gavin Rain, like a magician, transforms colored concentric circles into seductive Marylin Monroe, Liz Taylor, Mona Lisa but also the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi. Without forgetting Lottie, Kate Moss's little and equally rebellious sister, or many normal people who, thanks to the work of this artist graduated in neuropsychology and lover of analogue photography, become iconic.

With ever-increasing prices, an endless list of solo and collective exhibitions all over the world and presence at the most prestigious fairs, from Art Miami to Tefaf, passing through Art New York and Cape Town Art Fair, this artist-scientist has an important message for the human race: taking time to reflect on, and understand, the myriad of images to which it is subjected every day. Gavin Rain's works, in fact, reveal to the public that perception and understanding are nothing other than sides of the same coin: knowledge. Without the right attention, without the intellectual understanding of what you see, it is easy to fall into deception just as without the right perspective and distance, it is impossible to grasp the iconic faces protagonists of his paintings.

To obtain this double perception, the South African artist has created a unique and unmistakable working method. It all starts with a sketch, or a photograph which, thanks to the use of a grid and a projector, is broken down into areas then filled with colored circles. Having established the exact position of the circles, Rain proceeds with the choice of colours. Lights and shadows are determined by the size of the dots: the small ones, leaving the white background uncovered, create a bright area while the larger ones create darker effects. The colors, chosen from 1400 ready-made samples, are selected so that, seen up close, they are perceived in their multiple facets while, from afar, they transform into a single shade that creates the image.

In Gavin Rain's works there is the influence of Seurat, father of pointillism and a scientific approach to the palette, of Russian constructivism which uses color to compose and, finally, of the Bahaussian reflection on the ambiguity of color and instability of shapes. The use of faces, both well-known and less well-known, is not only a technical-mathematical artifice but is also the affirmation of the importance of human relationships. Gavin's works remind us that man is not a monad, an isolated entity but exists and is also defined by relationships, by existence and, above all, by the intellectual perception of others.

While the demand for the works grows exponentially, Gavin Rain, who is not ashamed to declare that he also creates many commissioned works, is already working on a new series: wooden sculpture paintings where thickness and materiality enhance the double perception, abstract up close and figurative from afar, of the iconic subjects depicted.

The artist's works