Artist Rebecca Szeto transforms used paintbrushes into charming miniature painted figures. Szeto creates each figure, or “paintbrush portrait” as she calls them, by first carving a human form into the handle of an old paintbrush. She then finishes the figure in paint. Szeto has been making the little paintbrush portraits since 1999.
These works play with notions of re-forming beauty and value, offering a critique on consumerism, women’s work, and a curious entanglement of Leisure & Labor – Trash & Treasure. I use humble, end-of-life, mass-produced materials inspired by my experience as a faux finisher and by Velázquez’s 17thc painting, Las Meninas. The paintbrush is self-referential, acting as both subject and object. It refers to the history of painting, through the medium of paint, using its own tool.
photos via Rebecca Szeto