Brooklynite Matt Held paints real people from their Facebook photos and then gives them to his subjects. Matt initially started this series of work in November of 2008 as a simple exercise in skin tone. Using a picture his wife had taken and posted to her Facebook profile — disheveled hair, finger waging war at the camera — he became intrigued with the various ways people present themselves online. The tiny Facebook photos and online avatars are used to represent who we are as humans in a virtual world.

Matt then started a Facebook group called “I’ll have my portrait painted by Matt Held,” as a way to socialize his project and have more photos to render in the fine art medium of oil on canvas. Now at over 10,000 members, he sources all his subjects from the group and has since painted over 75 portraits. He has an upcoming solo show that will feature some of these portraits at Galerie Myra.

What: Portraits by Matt Held
When: April 2, 2010 – April 30, 2010
Where: Galerie Myra, 11, rue de l’Evêché, 06140 Vence, France