Artist Tobias Gutmann has created his own portable portrait booth, in an effort to bring more abstract art around the world. Gutmann calls his creation the "Face-o-mat," where customers sit in front of the small window on the portrait booth and let the magic come to life.
While seated in front of the small window, Gutmann sits on the other side and observes the face that he sees. He then takes into account if the portrait is going to be black and white or color, natural or facelift, classical or avant-garde. Gutmann then illustrates their faces in under three minutes! Abstraction styles of painting and drawing do not always have to take much time anyways; especially with the techniques that Gutmann is practicing.
What is truly amazing about these abstract portraits is Gutmann’s ability to break down someone’s face into the most basic elements and lines, and it still somehow embodies the portrait of that person. In his photos of his customers holding their completed portraits next to their smiling faces, there’s just a little something present in each abstract that makes it easy to break down and interpret it as the face of the happy portrait owner. The simplicity and exquisite accuracy of these portraits must be what has made them so popular all around the world.
Yes, all around the world! Tobias Gutmann hauled his Face-o-mat some 25,000 miles for the last few months, stopping in different cities to complete portraits in each! He has been to Stockholm, Milan, Dar es Salaam, Tokyo, and London; he’s even gone far enough as to repaint the façade of his Face-o-mat at each new location with the correct language for the city that he’s stationed in. There have been a lot of artists that have traveled in the past for the sake of finding new subjects and scenery, or because they weren’t making money and needed to find work. However, Gutmann’s travel appears to have been more of a personal challenge. He has documented his travels with Face-o-mat on his Facebook and Tumblr (on Think Faest).
It is refreshing to read about artists pursuing their fashion in an eclectic and adventurous manner; Tobias Guttman has given hope to a lot of the artists around the world who are struggling with finding ways to make their art unique, successful, and enjoyable.