Seeking to See Others: Hyperrealistic Portraits by Erica Elan Ciganek

Erica Elan Ciganek (born 1991) – an artist currently living and working in Seattle – paints hyperrealistic portraits of people spanning ethnicities and ages. Her works, she writes, are created “with an emphasis on the power of seeking to see others in a world that is quick to dehumanize.”

In our digital age of devices, we tend to focus on large-scale wars and conflicts between nations and political groups and often do not pay close attention to individual human lives. Also, through our addiction to screens we have created a problem of impersonality, we are distanced and disconnected from the concreteness of the self. Erica offers a little corrective to this state by magnifying the face with all its creases and freckles. The images may elicit a meditative response in the viewer, revealing unto them the mystery, complexity and the depth found in a single person…that we frequently overlook or are too quick to dismiss.


Erica at Work


Erica graduated in 2013 from North Park University with a BA in both Art and Conflict Transformation. Some of her influences are visual artists Tim Lowly, Ann Hamilton and Antonio Lopez Garcia, the musician Olafur Arnalds and the writer Jeanette Winterson.

Her work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the US, as well as blogs and publications including Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose and Poets/Artists. Notable collections include the Howard Tullman Collection, Temple University Multicultural Center Collection, as well as the Steven Bennett Collection of paintings by female artists.

Links: Website ( | Instagram ( | Tumblr (

Images used with permission.