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Michael Hafftka"One Who Doesn't Know How to Ask", head of a man oil painting
Michael Hafftka is an American artist based in Brooklyn. His poignant paintings speak of the frailties and vices inherent in the human condition. With a dramatic use of color and expressive brush work, his images can be simultaneously breathtaking and confronting. From early in his career, Hafftka's works have demonstrated his prodigious talent. "One Who Doesn't Know How to Ask" is a luscious oil painting on copper of a man whose expression is hesitant. The title suggests that there is something he wants to ask. It seems to be important for his subject, as he has paused with his mouth open, uncertain whether he should continue. Or is he perhaps trying to find the right words for an impossible question? The rich colors intensify his anguish; his wide, clear eyes encourage us to feel a sense of empathy for him. Whatever the subject matter, Hafftka’s paintings are internal visions, not literal representations of an event or idea. His paintings are the sum of his memories, intellectual ruminations, daily observations and dreams that materialise as a vision, which he is then compelled to paint. He is a painter who has continuously and courageously stood by his convictions and who, despite his family’s experience as Holocaust survivors, seeks the good in people. But precisely because of those experiences, Hafftka is well aware that good can quickly become sinister if we let our guard down. COLLECTIONS: Hafftka’s works are held in many important museums in America including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. SIGNATURE: Initialed by the Artist "H" 2014, bottom right. PROVENANCE: The Artist CONDITION: Excellent. The work is unframed. SHIPPING: The work will ship from Brooklyn, N.Y.
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