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Leopold Seyffert

Behold! The only two paintings I can find by Leopold Seyffert that I super dig! Seyffert was a PAFA student and also a teacher at Moore College of Art & Design. His painting career seems mostly centered around working as a portraitist. His portraits are skilled, and he was hired by and painted many notable people of the day. They get the job done, but they look like work to me. Does that make sense?

I was walking through PAFA’s historic building museum with one of my classes, and saw the below first painting. Of course, it’s much more beautiful in person. The colors, specifically the magenta, is vibrant. There is something Klimt-ish about it, and the Art Deco color scheme particularly appeals to me. The skin sparkles.

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The Lacquer Screen

I assume these were painted as a pair. I can’t seem to find anymore work of his similar to these. I wonder what made him paint these, and why he didn’t seem to return to it. He did paint other nudes, but none of them, as far as I’ve seen, are as exciting as this pair.

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Nude with Chinese background

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She used to be a Girl

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I dug through the cardboard boxes in my parents’ basement and found lost treasures. Girlhood artifacts. Dirty ponies. Chipped unicorns. Doll parts and doilies. This might have been what I was searching for all along.

I really enjoy their dingy condition. We age and so do our toys. I remember trying to pull combs through plastic hair and assembling a little girl altar of ceramic unicorns on my bureau.

Being able to play pretend is a super power that fades as we grow older. I recall being at an age where I became aware that I was losing it. I dove back into pretend play and tried to force myself to hold onto that magic. Sometimes I think it worked. Others, I grieve the loss.

Someone once told me that my heart still believes in things my head know aren’t real. Maybe that’s a large part of why and what I paint.

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Glitter craft paper, fake flowers and abandoned toys seem appropriate. It reflects a bit of how I see myself these days. Colors fade. Natural radiance is replaced with cosmetic grade mica flakes. The flow of blood is imitated with waxy pigments. It’s the natural course of things. It’s the hope for magic in the context of reality.

I am not speaking as a sad sack. I think these feelings and memories are important to explore.

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She was a Sphinx

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Flick her tail, yawn all teeth.

Treasure pressed against her belly,

childish secrets and vision engines of glass and glitter.

I loved you, she said as she licked her paw.

Purrs and hisses amongst forbidden kisses in the shade.

Violent eyed with a forked tongue.

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Behold my sloppy concepting! Photoshop, photography, scissors and glue!

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