• Post category:art / sculpture

Paintbrush Portraits by Rebecca Szeto

Paintbrush Portraits by Rebecca Szeto

San Francisco artist Rebecca Szeto’s ‘Leisure & Labor – Trash & Treasure’ is an ongoing series she began in 1999. It’s comprised of hand-carved wooden paintbrushes embellished with oil painted portraits. Offering what she terms “a critique on consumerism”, the series plays with the notions of beauty and values, women’s roles in society and class dynamics.

Paintbrush Portraits by Rebecca Szeto


Doña Hongari after Velazquez:
Doña Hongari after Velazquez

Menina IV:
Menina IV


Madonna and child:
Madonna and child

Dark Habits:
Dark Habits

Daughter-of-Fortune (ode to Allende redux):
Daughter-of-Fortune (ode to Allende redux)

Grand Dame:




The World Is Your Oyster (after Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring):

Untitled (blue):
Untilted Blue

Szeto says “I use humble, end-of-life, mass-produced materials inspired by my experience as a faux finisher and initially by Velázquez’s 17th century painting, Las Meninas. The paintbrush is self-referential, acting as both subject and object. It refers to the history of painting, through the medium of paint, using its own tool. The slow and repetitive nature of whittling becomes a meditative strategy I employ in order to reflect more directly on the idiosyncrasies of each individual brush. Working intuitively, the layered surfaces of the paintbrushes become collaborators in defining their ultimate form and visual temperament while shedding light on the subtleties of the human condition.”

Rebecca spoke with Bored Panda about this project. Check that out here

Rebecca Szeto
information and images – many of which were cropped – courtesy of Rebecca Szeto