Figurative Painting, though relatively simple as an isolated concept, has taken on a multitude of different forms throughout the history of art and has been interpreted in countless different ways by the artists who have created it. At its core, the term refers to real figure-based representation but, as the body of work in this manner is evidence, the premise of a figure is often the only element that certain figurative paintings have in common with each other. Each piece functions through a shared iconic vocabulary that allows viewers to connect individually meaningless shapes to familiar subject matter. It is unimportant that a particular physical attribute in the painting be true to life as long as it can be collectively understood by a given symbol. Beyond that, there are virtually no limitations on a figurative painting’s visual possibilities; it has only to succeed in presenting a universally readable image. Initially, discrepancies between figurative images were rooted in varying levels of technical skill and a long-standing divide between idealization and realism. When photography eventually rendered portraiture obsolete and modern abstraction pushed the limits of expression, this genre of painting began to incorporate more interpretive, individualistic approaches to representation. The human figure has been a central focus in artistic cultures throughout history and today is no different; the urge to record, invent, and manipulate the human image continues to captivate the attentions of artists and inspire the creation of innovative, challenging work.