Depicting Heads of State As Seen By An Artist

MJ Viajes is a traveling artist born in Seattle, Washington, who primarily does portrait paintings. Her medium of choice is acrylic and oil paint but is starting to work in the digital medium. She often depicts popular figures and heads of state in a caricature and profound manner. We caught up with her about her recent pieces.

Why you depict the heads of state in such a way?

My style was developed through my minimalistic ideals as a traveling artist. Finding a creative use of limited colors while still creating an impact is very important to me.

What’s the meaning behind your colour use and images?

My goal is to capture the essence of my subjects through both colorful and monochromatic techniques within one composition. The use of both techniques allows me to highlight items of interest within each piece and set the mood for each subject.

How have you seen your style as an artist develop over the years?
My work is inspired by pop culture and the human condition. Each piece is a looking glass into the world as I see it. My portraits depict people who have an impact on me, whether it be a positive or negative one.

And what do you use for inspiration when coming up with who to paint?
When I decided to do “Inadequate Trump” I painted him the way he looks in my eyes. A bumbling money crazed fool with a small penis complex. When I did “The Star”, a portrait of David Bowie. I wanted to portray him in the highest regard (a deity of sorts).

His groundbreaking style in music and fashion touched a lot of people. He was a beacon of light who inspired people from all walks of life. When he died it was a terrible day for many people.

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