Well along in a successful career as a designer and illustrator, German artist Sebastian Krüger began focusing on painting highly exaggerated caricature portraits of pop and music stars, particularly the Rolling Stones who he had met early in his career.
Since 2005 he has abandoned commercial work and devoted himself to gallery painting. As he has restlessly explored the boundaries of exaggeration possible in a recognizable face, he also began to work at large scale and in increasing degree of detail.
His large canvasses are now often highly realistic even when wildly exaggerated. Someare more straightforward, though often rendered with an intensity that makes them seem more exaggerated than they are.
I thought it was interesting that his portrayal of Jimi Hendrix, who went to lengths to present himself as an outlandish individual, is completely straightforward (and wonderfully realized).
I’m not familiar enough with his career to know if Kruger is moving more toward realism, but many of his recent pieces seem to be in that direction.
The artist occasionally leads workshops, and conducted his first in the U.S. early this year. Krüger works in acrylic on panels, at a scale you can see in the workshop image above.
There is a gallery site here that I think is unofficial, but it gives a nice range of his work and a fascinating tour through the degrees of exaggeration and intensity Krüger has brought to his “personality portraits” over time.
There is an article on Empty Kingdom that gives a good quick overview of his recent work.