Based in New York, figurative artist Dillon Utter has a penchant for portraits. With a strong focus on urban decay and everyday encounters with others, Utter presents intimate portrayals of people we would otherwise look right past, such as tenants, workers, drifters, and the elderly.
Particularly influenced by his small hometown in upstate New York, Dillon uses real-life experiences as inspiration for his genuine—and often gritty—portrayals:
Binghamton’s rich history and urban decay create an ideal backdrop for my portraits. The city once flourished with industrialization and major manufacturers. Many of these industries are now in ruins and have left economic hardships for the area. I use my street photography as reference for my paintings. This allows me to capture people at a more intimate level, revealing more about them and myself.
While some of his portraits possess titles that reference the scene itself, such as The Corner, Dog Days, or Cold Afternoon on Court Street, others—like Lonely Child and Wounded—poignantly describe the individuals portrayed and focus entirely on their plight.
Unidealized and true-to-life, Dillon Utter’s portraits are unquestionably compelling and exceptionally intimate.