Fictional portraits built of geometric shapes, crafted in pencil, acrylics or found materials. Raymond Lemstra’s artwork reveals a long-standing fascination with faces and pareidolia, our basic human need to recognise facial features in our surroundings.
Born in Groningen, The Netherlands, in 1978, Lemstra graduated from Academie Minerva in 2004. He moved to Amsterdam the following year, where he began to develop small-scale pencil drawings of imaginary characters. Inspired by the selective emphasis found in children’s drawings, Lemstra replaces facial features with geometric shapes, charging inanimate objects with emotional content.
His practice has since extended to encompass painting, in works such as the large-scale Triptych (2016), undertaken during his Colección SOLO residency in Somo, Spain. He has also worked on collaborative projects with artists such as Tim Biskup and Hongmin Lee, and incorporated found objects into his creations, particularly in the Facing Seoul Series, completed while the artist was living in South Korea during 2017.
Since his first group show in 2009, Lemstra has exhibited work across Europe and in the USA, regularly participated in the contemporary character design festival, Pictoplasma, and held solo shows in Berlin, Shanghai, New York and Seoul.