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The Art Portfolio of Douglas Zest

By Dallas Jeffs


Artist Douglas Zest creates complex, layered abstract paintings using a technique called a “dirty pour,” in which different colours of acrylic paint are layered and mixed in a cup or vessel before being poured onto the canvas. The resulting pieces are firmly abstract but often call to mind aerial views of distant planets, or microscopic vistas.


I like seeing the way Douglas brings his own unique style to the pouring method of painted abstraction. His works invite comparison to contemporaries like Luis Pagan, or J.D. Doria, but Douglas also has his own unique and instantly identifiable style. I find that Douglas tends to use a far-reaching selection of colours in each work, and this diverse colour palette lends to more complex, apparently more detailed imagery.


The artist also occasionally brings figures into his works, layering abstracted paint pours over appropriated photographs and figure paintings in his Inner Dreams and Demons series. Though the images themselves are usually subdued into greyscale, the artist’s selection of paint colours indeed evokes dreamlike, mythological visuals.