Robert Gniewek

Region: Midwest

The mugshot portraits are my latest effort to combine pop art iconography with photorealist painting. With this series, I have gone back to the roots of photorealism, a genre that emerged from the pop art movement of the 1960s.

The subjects of the paintings are notorious criminals whose mugshots are often seen in various media outlets, becoming a familiar part of our popular culture. I enlarge the scale to portray the subjects as larger-than-life characters, as an observation and reflection on our voyeuristic, violent, and pop-culture-obsessed society.