The original was created using oil on canvas.
"I look at my own world and paint it, but I also want my paintings to be ultimately timeless. I’m a channel to express the human condition."
Largely self-taught, American figurative painter Malcolm Liepke’s rich, tender portraits capturing intimate, private moments are inspired by painters like Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Mary Cassatt. Painting from photographs and using a wet-on-wet oil painting technique with rich, bold, and thick brushwork, Liepke creates intimate portraits of young couples often mid-embrace. While his works are often sexually charged, the artist’s main interest is in capturing the moment and figure’s emoted passion.
"In landscapes, there can certainly be a great deal of emotion, but it is a different kind and not as strong to me as looking at the figure. There is a timeless quality to figurative painting that I really enjoy. If I look at a Rembrandt, while the clothing is certainly different, the people remain the same. They have not changed in hundreds of years. The emotional contact you get from looking at someone’s face is what inspires my work."
In Her Arms boldly captures the moment a couple sinks into each other’s arms, in a warm, yet melancholy embrace. The bold use of color adds to the sense of emotion. Like Van Gogh, Liepke uses color to express mood and emotion. How does the artist’s use of color affect the overall mood of the painting? How does it make you feel?
*figurative – Representing a form or figure in art that retains clear ties to the real world.
*wet-on-wet technique – Also called alla prima (Italian, meaning at first attempt), a painting technique in which layers of wet paint are applied to previously administered layers of wet paint.
For more information on the artist, visit
Copyright © 2020 Emergency Art Museum - All Rights Reserved.
*The Emergency Art Museum claims no ownership, or copyright to any materials found here, or on-site. The Emergency Art Museum functions solely as a non-commercial, non-profit, educational resource for the community. All artwork represented or reproduced, has been done so for educational purposes only under the fair use act.
-Johnny DePalma, Owner / Curator
-Janelle Graves, Art Historian / Museum Educator