High Realism to Simple Abstraction: The Art of Rashaun Kartak

A painting of a structure with overlapping vinesShelter, acrylic on stretched linen

Rashaun Kartak is a painter working in mixed media, painting subject matter such as florals, abstractions, landscapes, and figures. Rashaun’s style ranges from high realism to simple abstraction -- sometimes geometric, sometimes flowing. 

An abstract artwork with textUntitled, oil pastel, acrylic, and vinyl on stretched canvas


I really like Rashaun’s figure drawings, where he uses the hard lines of permanent marker on a white ground to create harsh, almost geometric scenes with various figures intersecting. In contrast, the artist’s abstract paintings are quite varied in their style -- from hard-lined geometric compositions, to blends of geometric and more organic aesthetics, to flowing compositions focused on textures and planes of colour. In some pieces, Rashaun makes direct reference to abstract artists like Vassily Kandinsky.


In some works, Rashaun makes use of text. The text interventions hearken to mid-century expressionism and create a viewing experience that is more akin to reading, turning the works almost into poetry rather than pure visual art. It’s equally interesting, then, for these works to be categorized as an abstraction.


An abstract artwork with a large plane of textured white

Veil, oil pastel and acrylic on stretched canvas

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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