Paintbrush Portraits Take The Concept Of Upcycling To An Entirely New Level

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San Francisco-based artist Rebecca Szeto uses paintbrushes to create her artwork, but it’s not quite what you think. Instead of using paintbrushes to paint, Rebecca creates something completely unique, taking the concept of upcycling to an entirely new level.

Combining her master carving skills with a keen sense of humor, Rebecca carves the handles of no longer functional paintbrushes into refined, painted, renaissance inspired women. The frazzled brush hairs serve as the women’s gowns adding to the delightful paintbrush portraits.

“These works play with notions of re-forming beauty and value,” writes Rebecca in her artist’s statement. “I use humble, end-of-life, mass-produced materials inspired by my experience as a faux finisher. The paintbrush is self-referential, acting as both subject and object. It refers to the history of painting, through the medium of paint, with its own tool.”

Menina IV

Menina IV

Doña Hongari

Doña Hongari

Madonna & Child

Madonna & Child

Reflections on Beauty

Geisha

2 1/2

Bad Habits

Bad Habits

Concubine

Grand Dame


More about the artist

RebeccaSzeto“I am a first generation Chinese American who has a familial slant towards the creative, coming from a long line of educators and architects. However, I am the first to pursue a career in art. As someone who enjoys the small details of the everyday, doing art is a way for me to make those often times invisible moments visible.”

Rebecca received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and has continued her artistic training to date with independent studies under Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky in Montagnana, Italy.

She has been a recent fellow at CanSerrat in El Bruc, Spain; Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada; and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado, and was awarded a Pamela Joseph Merit Fellowship. Rebecca’s work has shown her work both in the States and abroad.

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