Seth Armstrong’s folk-infused hyper-realism reflects his interest in the Dutch renaissance and California plein air movement of the early 20th Century; he uses oil paints to capture the delicate, crepuscular light of his native LA. Depicting vertiginous suburban neighbourhoods, Armstrong imbues his pieces with a sensitive vitality. He plays with the affecting emotional quality of warm and cold light, sun and shadow, fascinated by the “way brick and concrete absorb light and heat all day and seem to radiate it back into the night air.”
Armstrong was born in the Silverlake district of Los Angeles in 1983. He started painting early, creating coloured marker drawings on large poster boards, these would depict chaotic battle scenes between imaginary stick-figure armies. As a young man, Armstrong moved to the bay area to begin his artistic education: studying for a BFA at the California College of Arts. Armstrong stayed in the bay area for nine years - with the exception of one year spent in northern Holland - before moving back to LA, his love for the city rejuvenated through absence. Armstong’s treatment of light is heavily influenced by his interest in the Dutch Renaissance, it so happens that LA is the perfect city for this fascination to manifest itself.
His paintings have been commissioned by the likes of Jay Z and Nicki Minaj and have been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. Venues include ThinkSpace Gallery (Los Angeles), Vertical Gallery (London), Spoke Art Gallery (NY/SF), Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Urban Nation Contemporary Urban Art Museum (Berlin), and more. He has also been featured in international art fairs such as SCOPE, the LA Art Fair, and Moniker in London.