Fine Art since 1990
55 Bellevue Avenue
Newport RI 02840
(401) 849-9166

Visiting Artist

Eli Portman

Visiting Artist from May 1st to June 30th, 2024


Artist Bio:

Eli Portman was born and raised in the Greater Boston area. He graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a Bachelors Degree in studio art in the spring of 2014. Portman specializes in detailed ink illustrations and watercolor landscapes. He has had art featured all over the Greater Boston area, including at galleries, shops, libraries, universities and more! Portman also teaches art classes and workshops to children and adults of all ages. He is a member of the Copley Society of Art, and a published illustrator and popular muralist. He’s painted and drawn custom work for business and individuals all over the area. When not creating artwork, Portman enjoys taking research and reference photographs of the city and its surroundings for future artwork.

Artist Statement:

I am fascinated with the concept of perception. Many experiences in my life have made me feel quite alone. In those moments, I feel unique in the way that I perceive things. And yet at the same time, I strongly believe that we as human beings share many experiences, many thoughts, feelings, and reactions. With my work, I approach the dissonance between perceived unique individual solitude in a crowded environment, and the commonness and sameness of such feelings. Using detailed line work and heavy colors, I illustrate moments of ‘unique’ isolation that we all share. The feeling of walking alone while viewing social excitement through nighttime windows, or working while others play to their contentment. With controlled ink lines, I capture shadows and lights. Familiar angles, familiar feelings brought on by time of day or night, placement and presence in one’s environment. I manipulate the openness and tightness of visual spaces and interiors to reflect the claustrophobia of society’s open space and the endless emptiness of being crowded and crushed. With strong colors, I attract the viewer’s eyes to specific spaces within the composition, reminding them of their own perceptions of environment, and that I, like them, find myself in there too. By capturing these scenes, I present the commonality between them and me. Though they do not know me, we are united by the sameness of the humanity we all share. The art exhibitions that affect me most strongly are the ones that remind me of myself. Of what I love, of what I find beautiful, and of what I fear. We are always looking for a certain degree of reflections of ourselves. In images, in friends, in pets, in communities, in romantic partners. With my artwork, I attempt to bridge the gaps of solitude by harnessing that innate search for our reflections. With familiar scenes, bright colors, and fine details of everyday objects and structures, I create scenes that are familiar in their individuality.