Abstract Expressionist Celebrity Portraits by Matthew Paden I Artsy Shark


Artist Matthew Paden’s abstract expressionist portraits of iconic celebrities vibrate with color and energy. See more by visiting his website.


portrait of Sylvester Stallone by Matthew Paden

“Survivor” (Sylvestor Stallone) acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 36″


Quietly observing the chaos around me I find I’m fascinated by the simplicity, yet the overall complexities of the world. My name is Matthew Paden. I am also known as the Savvy Artist on my platform Savvy Palette.


portrait of Charlie Chaplin by Matthew Paden

“Curious” (Charlie Chaplin) acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 24″


I believe that every artist has a dual journey when creating art. There is the internalization of the outside world and the perception of one’s surroundings, as well as the externalization of one’s own ideas and how artists process this information, enrich it and conceive it on canvas.


portrait of the Blues Brothers by Matthew Paden

“Mission From God” (Blues Brothers) acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 36″


I have always been fascinated by the unbridled freedom of expression that art affords artists like myself. The broad arms of contemporary abstract art, my personal favorite style, is perhaps not a mere coincidence. The Spontaneous Realism movement has captured my soul.


portrait of Axl Rose by Matthew Paden

“Jungle Juice” (Axl Rose) acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 24″


With my work, I strive to infuse my pieces with life through emboldened brushstrokes, exaggerated colors, and subtle nuances that harmonize intention and intuition.


portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsberg by Matthew Paden

“Purpose, Fortitude & Respect” (Ruth Bader Ginsberg) acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 24″


The process of painting my subjects without encumbering myself with any type of bias has become increasingly important for me. My art is based on honesty. This allows me to create pieces that are both personal and observant. It is definitely empowering to make art that people relate to, and my audience has been extremely responsive to my approach.


portrarit of Amanda Gordon by Matthew Paden

“Brave, Inspiring Future” (Amanda Gordon) acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 24″


My current project is called Famous Faces, a series of portraits featuring famous icons from the sixties, seventies and eighties. My goal is to reconnoiter the relentless credo of Pop culture and the emotional reminiscence of celebrity icons from decades past, leaving only a sense of decadence and the chance for a new understanding. As momentary derivatives become static through emergent and various practice, the keen observer is left with a subtle clue to cultures that are fading away.


portrait of Madonna by Matthew Paden

“Material Girl” (Madonna) acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36″


With such diverse influences as Madonna and Clint Eastwood, my Famous Faces series juxtapositions representational art with the fluidity and vulnerability apparent in abstract-expressionism. Splashes of vivid color along with dynamic brushwork fuse vigorous combinations synthesized from opaque and transparent layers enhanced into a prestige manifesto.


portrait of Quentin Tarantino by Matthew Paden

“Big Kahuna” (Quentin Tarantino) acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 24″


I believe it is fundamental that artists push the boundaries of what is considered the norm and delve into the unknown to explore a genre.


portrait of All American Rejects by Matthew Paden

“Midnight Tango” (All American Rejects) acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 24″


All in all, I would say that being an artist has never been a choice, but being a savvy artist has been.


Artist Matthew Paden invites you to follow him on Instagram.


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