The Futility of Envy: a cinder block wall that wants to be touched Painting by Nolan Haan

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Art Description

Painting: Acrylic on Other.

Braille translation: "I want to be touched (but ever so gently). Go on, don't be shy."

I paint portraits of concrete blocks and cinder block walls in acrylic on silk. Cement blocks exude strength, character, and personality. Like human beings, every cinder block is unique. Each has subtle differences and imperfections yet shares traits with others of its kind. As a metaphor for the human condition, each trompe l’oeil painting strives to convey a story, a commentary, or a state of mind.

This series is entitled “The Futility of Envy” and consists of ten paintings of cinder block walls that want to be something they’re not. Envy is a psychological condition that infects us all. The goal of my series is to depict envy in a subtle and unexpected way while introducing a touch of absurdity and humor.

The paintings are acrylic on silk, mounted on hardboard panels. I paint on silk because its surface is smooth, so the illusion of cement is not compromised by the texture of canvas. I incorporate brushes, rubbing, and spray paint to transform the luxurious fabric into concrete. No computer, printing, silk screen, image transfer, or photographic techniques are used.




The Futility of Envy: a cinder block wall that wants to be touched

Nolan Haan

United States


Size: 48 W x 72 H x 2 in

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