Andrew Valko

Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Title: Close Examination
Media: Acrylic on linen
Dimensions: 61 x 46 cm


This portrait is of my son Kalvin. Like so many young people, he is in the stage of his life where he is navigating issues of identity and discovering who he is and what his role in this world is going forward. Considering this, I decided to paint a portrait of Kalvin that symbolically reveals his journey of seeing, examining, investigating, recording and learning about himself and the world around him. The portrait is an image of a selfie that allows the viewer to not only see the subject but also see what the subject is recording. The magnification glasses suggest closer, careful inspection, and the introduction of the cell phone speaks to self-examination, communication and exposure through social media. While painting this portrait, I was thinking about Lucian Freud, Alex Katz and David Hockney.


For some time, I have been exploring, in some of my work, the relationship between people and today’s technology. How technology has changed the way we communicate with each other and how we look at ourselves and the world around us. In my paintings, I create episodes in an ongoing, fragmentary narrative in which the clues and suggestions make the viewers fill in the details of the story. I like that they are multilayered and open-ended and that everyone can interpret them in different ways.