Noah Buchanan: “It’s Important for Artists, From Fledgling to Veteran, to Remain True to Their Vision and Instincts in Making Art.”

Artist name: Noah Buchanan

Featured Work 1: I.Crow X Oil on Panel, 12″ x 12″, 2016


Noah Buchanan draws the viewer deep into relationship with his paintings’ subjects. Within both intimate scenes and mythic narratives, each figure’s personal vulnerability and strength; unique physical form; and lush momentary presence is conveyed with a classical sensibility. Buchanan has exhibited internationally, received numerous awards and teaches painting and drawing at several colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City and Los Angeles. His work is also included in the book, Star Wars Art: Visions.

Writer Samantha Matcovsky described his work in this manner with The Huffington Post:

Although the pristine aesthetics of Buchanan’s work are the first thing to be noticed, he masterfully encapsulates emotion through movement and corporeal expression.

Featured Works Slideshow: (contains nudity)

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5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

Art is an anthropological force of nature, a part of our human instinct, to make something that communicates that there is meaning in existence, or at least that we sure as hell will search high and low to find that meaning … That search for meaning brings with it a lens through which we view the world, and it shows us that there is a compelling beauty to just about any aspect of our lives; Art is the celebration of that beauty, and it can range from the sublime to the forsaken and decrepit.

2. What did you make in the past and why?

Over the past 15 years as a working artist (not including all of the student years), I’ve made a lot of figure paintings which mostly depict the solitary figure, and the idea of human anatomy as a vessel for the struggle of the human condition; I’ve also made a lot of still life that sought to poetically address psychological dynamics. Answering honestly, and with regrets, I’d say that painting all of those solitary figures and still life seemed like a great way to generate a body of work with cohesion to it, in the hopes that galleries would find me attractive as an artist, and that I could have lots of exhibitions with continuous themes, but that work didn’t get to the heart of what I’d once hoped and dreamed my work would become.

3. What are you making now and why?

I’m now making life sized, complex, multiple figure compositions that depict mythological and biblical subject matter, using historical oil painting techniques derived from 16th and 17th century painters.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

I hope to keep pushing my work into more and more ambitious levels, and I hope to see my skill level as a painter and draughtsman increase. I also hope to have chances to make in Art in the powerful places of the world that artists have called home for centuries: Florence, Rome, Paris, London, New York.

5. What else would you like to say?

I want to say that it’s important for artists, from fledgling to veteran, to remain true to their vision and instincts in making Art. It can be very tempting for us to look at the shimmering successes that come out of the high Art World — I’m looking at you, Chelsea, NYC — and say, “What can I do, how can I alter my work, or what conventions in my work can I concoct, or contrive, to make myself more attractive to the top of the Art World and/or Market?” I feel that, very often, that question leads us to choices in our artistic process that lead us away from ourselves. It can be a sometimes blurry path between changes which come about from a natural maturation of our process and voice, versus an intentional manipulation of our work which is contrived to gain more attention.

Artist Supplied Background:

Noah Buchanan’s work in painting and drawing of the human figure draws heavily upon traditions found in 16th – 17th century Europe. He was classically trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts sin Philadelphia as well as the New York Academy of Art in New York City. His work favors themes of the mythic, divine, and heroic, and demonstrates a love for the study of human anatomy.

Find more of his work on Instagram.


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Noah Buchanan is represented by PR for Artists.
5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers

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