"A few times every week people ask, ‘What do you paint?’ and I answer ‘People’. I didn’t try to create these iconic characters, they kind of developed slowly over time, and then they were just there." So begins Brian Calvin when discussing his paintings, a continuing series of subtle evolution of unique characters and, like he says, people. Through April 6, 2019, Calvin has a new series of works, Fugue, on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Paris.

After Calvin's solo booth showcase with Anton Kern at the ADAA fair in NYC two weeks ago, this seems to be a bit of a moment for the artist. The way he combines almost elongated comic book forms with portrait work, and in subtle ways, continues to explore new ways to present the characters. As the gallery notes, "This is an exciting aspect of Calvin’s work: from one painting to the next, variations are sometimes minimal, as if he had merely made a few minor touch-ups on a finished work, albeit with obvious consequences."

Calvin continues, "By stripping things away and not looking at real people, just making the painting, just going back and forth, they kind of developed, and then I wanted to paint the universe they inhabit. I think it’s one reason why for someone like Wesley, or William Copley – who became influential later – what could be called style seems to be an organic one that comes I don’t quite know why because they don’t look natural, but then all you do is kind of inhabit that universe and all of the innovation and stuff comes from within that closed system. As opposed to, you know, artists who every few years develop an all-new line. It might be very exciting but that’s not how my brain works. I keep finding what feels like new life in repetition, falling deeper down the rabbit hole."

Fugue is on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Paris through April 6, 2019.