Life Beyond The Selfie – A Return to Artist-Painted Portraits is on the Horizon

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After years of the Selfie (self-portraits achieved on technically advanced smart phone cameras), there is now a growing appetite for a portrait with greater permanence and provenance according to Barbara Tyler Ahlfield.

Portrait of Modern Woman

"The camera records "what is"- the artists records what is and what could be."- Barbara Tyler Ahlfield

The classic artist painted oil portrait could be just the ticket as the ultimate home accessory. A camera portrait, though often inspired, cannot capture that spark of soul that is achieved in a good artist's portrait. The camera records what is - the artist records what is and what could be.

Since the dawn of man, recorded history presents portraits done on cave walls, on the burial cases of Pharaohs, through the Middle Ages, the royalty of Europe- Rembrandt, Reubens, Sargent, Boldini, and on to the present day with Andy Warhol and Lucien Freund. In times past the portrait was primarily only accessible to the upper classes or royalty but that is not true today.

There is really no substitute for a well-executed formal portrait painting - think of the paintings of our presidents that hang in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. They are arresting and almost a reverential recording of an individual's persona. In recent times, portraits have had an uneven record of popularity but the concept of a portrait in every home could be the ultimate home accessory. There is substance, history and skill involved in the traditional portrait- all weighty attributes in its favor.

The question of vanity is outdated in the time of the popularity of the selfie which also paves the way for the advent of the portrait as a popular acquisition. The year of 2018 has brought the woman into the spotlight in a global way. The era of superficiality is coming to an end- where women are valued primarily for their exterior. Emphasis is now migrating towards recognizing the inner person as well. This could be so effectively realized in a portrait- uniting the outer and inner person in a reflection that is lasting, unchanging and timeless.

For more information on Barbara Tyler Ahlfield and her illustrations, please visit:

About Barbara Tyler Ahlfield:

Barbara started drawing at the age of two, decorating her bedroom walls with crayon fashion drawings. As a child, she was fascinated with the glamorous fashion she saw in the classic black and white films and television shows as well as the formal portraits she studied during children’s classes at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery.

Following college, she united her loves of art and fashion into a career that spanned 30 years as one of the leading, award winning retail fashion illustrators in the country. The archive of her illustrations is one of the few existing collections of American female fashion illustration over the last quarter century and offers a retrospective of the American woman’s evolving sense of style as well as changing illustrative styles.

On any given day, her full page illustrations appeared in many of the major newspapers in the country including the New York Times, Chicago Sun Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, etc. showcasing top American fashion designers for the major US department stores such as Lord and Taylor, Nordstrom, Dillards, John Wannamaker and many more.

For the last five years, Barbara has concentrated on contemporary fine art portrait painting. She has united her interest in pets and glamour portraits and offers both today. Barbara has exhibited in many art fairs globally, is represented by three galleries currently and is collected by private collectors in the United States and in Europe. This year, Barbara will have her first solo show in New York City in the Fall.

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