Looking through artist Raymond Lemstra's work is like taking a portal into an alternate reality. As an artist, Raymond Lemstra seems dedicated to creating his own distinctive aesthetic, combining elements of block drawing, intensive detail, and portraiture to create something uniquely his own.
As an artist, Raymond Lemstra claims one of his major goals is to bring back the wonder and amazement that we felt when surprised by things as children. His work does a good job of conveying that. Included in this collection of his work is his series of portraits of different block-headed men smoking tobacco in a variety of forms. We see tightly rolled fermented cigarettes, small cut tobacco leaves in a cylinder of thin paper, and even a tobacco pipe. Each smoking character is well-dressed and distinguished. They represent every piece of class associated with an older man smoking tobacco, but because of their block-headed design, it's hard to look at them without laughing.
This is Lemstra's major skill as an artist. He transports the viewer back to a bygone era in their lives and invites them to stay there. As an artist, Raymond Lemstra knows how to tug on the right heartstrings. Look through the gallery to see what I mean.
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