I came across one of Karel Funk’s paintings over on YMFY and I was immediately drawn to it. It was nothing more than a painting of man dressed in an oversized parka, but there was something about the way it was painted, the way the light hit the parka and the fact that the subject in the painting was looking away. As it turns out Karel Funk was inspired by the subways of New York, and the loss of personal space that occurs when you ride them. How many times have you been forced to stare at the back of someone’s head, or the fabric of someone’s coat? In his own words:
“I was fascinated by how this boundary of personal space completely disappeared on the subway,” “You could see details of somebody’s ear or neck that you’d never observe just socializing with friends because there’s this boundary we all keep.”
There’s also the fact that these are painted in a Renaissance style that make them so perfect seeming. The lighting on his subjects, especially seen in the third image, is something you’d see hanging in a museum. You should read this W Magazine article from last year which gives a bit more insight if you’re digging his work.