At a certain point, portraiture seems to be less of a genre than a blurry constellation of suggested guidelines, or even just something you have to see to recognize. That’s when it’s time to stop theorizing and start looking at the work of Ross Rossin.

He is a Bulgarian born American Artist who was born to be a world-renowned painter. Classically trained and privately tutored since the age of six, he has explored the world and with his gift he has contributed high profile works of images from his camera lens, through his hand to his canvas.

Rossin’s gift has always been well received as he creates master works for dignitaries, celebrities and other notable 21st Century figures. Earlier this year, Secretary of State John Kerry hand delivered a commissioned 6-foot by 6-footportrait of Mahatma Gandhi by Rossin. It was a gift to the people of India for Prime Minister Singh. The portrait hangs currently in the office of the Prime Minister. In 2012, Her Royal Majesty accepted a portrait of King George VI as a gift from Rossin marking her Jubilee. It is now included in her royal property for her private, permanent collection as well.

To celebrate Rossin’s work even further, he has just received confirmation that his completed portrait of Dr. Maya Angelou has been accepted as an addition to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. He already holds the honor of having three existing works in the National Portrait Gallery such as Hank Aaron, Morgan Freeman and Ambassador Andrew Young. All of his creations are a part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian.

When asked what is so special about his craft he responds by saying “I resonate with the monumental and intimate side of my work with innocence of the simple and personal terms of my subject.” He also explains that while “looking for the divine within, I am able to escape within my subject and do my best work.” His goal is to capture the vibrant, wonderful and captivating individual that is in each of his portraits.

Rossin’s work is so extensive and it’s almost an injustice to just say he paints portraits. It sounds like a relatively straightforward thing — a picture of someone — but across time, exactly what his work encompasses will be proven to be much more than that.

There are abstract portraits, portraits of pets, portraits of homes and portraits of people and sometimes-just portraits of fun things like piles of candy. For any rule you might devise to define a portrait, there is always a bona fide portrait that defies that rule. The extraordinary work of Ross Rossin is clearly set by a standard that is all of his own.