Human Blueprints: Palette knife paintings that reveal the coarse beauty of people

© Briahna Wenke

In her series Human Blueprints, American artist Briahna Wenke uses a heavy palette knife technique that she has developed and applied to painting portraits of people. "It feels so appropriate since humans are the most dynamic beings on the planet," says Briahna. "We all have stories or layers that accumulate as a result of the experiences we live through.

"Many of us choose to hide them at all costs. If we actually wore them inside out, revealing the coarse beauty, the jarring flaws, the harmony of colour or lack thereof, how would we look at each other? Any kinder than we do now? Is honesty always better? Honesty saves everyone's time. And sometimes it feels like we are running out."

Raised on the Connecticut coastline, Briahna Wenke began painting murals for local businesses by age 16, although she's been filling sketchbooks since her earliest memories. After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a bachelors in history and anthropology, she spent her early twenties painting murals, landscaping, bartending, and embarking on international travels to Australia, Europe, Asia, North Africa, and Central America.​

In 2014, Bri moved from Manhattan and the fashion industry to the Lowcountry to pursue life as a full-time painter. Her work is collected both locally and nationally and has been featured on the cover of Natural Awakenings Magazine. Bri currently works out of her studio at Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston.

"Every day I would walk into my studio, attempt to quiet my badgering mind, and just paint. With every hit of my palette knife, each one of these paintings began to take on a character of its own, one I never preconceived. I see a piece of myself in each one of these, some aggressive and impulsive in nature, while others appeal to a much softer side."

Find out more about Briahna Wenke at www.artbybri.com. Or follow her on Instagram @artbybriahna.

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke

© Briahna Wenke