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Drawing inspiration from intimate conversations with his subjects, Curtis Holder explores the complexities of human emotions and how we connect with and interpret the feelings of each other through sensitive artistic expression.
Holder’s large-scale, multilayered coloured pencil portraits are dynamically tender, revealing something of the inner life of his sitters. He aims to evoke an individual’s unspoken truth, which he compels the viewer to search for, and in doing so, reflect upon their own perceptions.
Holder’s portraits emerge in dynamic, complex strokes, capturing a sense of his subjects’ form, movement and emotional intent. Preliminary pencil marks remain as part of his energetic process of capturing fleeting gestures and emotions with sensitivity and a raw honesty. Stronger, spontaneous lines are used to anchor the subject in a final, bold depiction.
In 2020 Holder won Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. His winner’s commission, a portrait of world-renowned ballet dancer, Carlos Acosta, is now part of the permanent collection at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK. He also has work in the Soho House art collection.