Haunting oil portraits by Harding Meyer that focus on the windows to our souls

Harding Meyer is a Brazilian artist who loves to paint faces. Nothing more, nothing less – just faces. But the one thing you always notice about his oil paintings is how he focuses on the eyes. Piercing and full of fascinating thoughts and strong emotion, they always form the core element of Meyer's work, and force you to stop what you're doing, drop everything and simply stare back at the imaginary person.

It is incredible that someone could convey so much humanity, simply through a few clever brushstrokes. Not even the best photography in the world can achieve a similar level of engagement as these stunning, large-scale oil portraits. It's what makes Meyer's work so powerful, and understandably has captured the attention of the world.

Based in Germany, Meyer was born in Porto Alegre in 1964. In 1987, he studied at Karlsruhe Art Academy under Professor Max Kaminski, and later under Professor Helmut Dorner. He has been painting faces for the past 15 years, working on canvas and taking inspiration from magazines, television shows and the internet. All of his artworks are untitled.

In an interview with Leonie Schilling for Arte Al Limite, he explained: "First, I look in the eyes of the subject to find something to hold onto, the need for empathy... A good painting can be disgusting or beautiful, but it is always emotionally moving. The context changes when choosing the detail and then again during the process of painting."


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