Ceramic figurines are like little reflections of ourselves. Historically modeled after royalty, famous actors, and unusual characters from every day life, they can show us who we are and where we come from. Scotland based artist Jessica Harrison sees figurines in much the same way, but beauty is only skin deep. She turns those reflections inside out to reveal her subjects’ personality and complexities underneath.
Spanish artist “Salusitano” paints large-scale mixed media portraits of gazing figures. His works are precisely detailed, oftentimes with 60 layers of paint or more. Appearing almost hyper-realistic, up-close they reveal tiny cross hatched marks made using colored pencil, conte crayon, and oil paint by the tip of the brush. The artist likens this technique to carving out the facial expressions of his protagonists; young girls, boys and women of various cultures.
Look down. Hiding between sidewalk cracks and under train tracks, you just might find one of the people who inhabit Joe Iurato’s miniature world. The New York-based artist cuts people from wood and photographs them in active positions within cities and landscapes. The resulting photographs are endearing miniature reflections of the world. By placing his cutouts in familiar settings, Iurato draws attention to the details in our greater environment. Furthermore, by painting the works in black-and-white, the artist creates a sense of nostalgia, especially around his portraits of men walking along train tracks.
Jakub Rozalski (aka “Mr. Werewolf”) is a Polish concept artist and illustrator who describes the world in his paintings as a futuristic 1920s Eastern Europe, or “1920+”. Previously featured on our blog, Rozalski’s works contrast the soft nostalgia of 19th and 20th century inspired scenery under attack against giant mecha robots. While warring nations combat mechanical beasts in epic battles that feel alien and also vaguely familiar, Polish shepards and farmers in the countryside work their land alongside wild animals. “I like to mix historical facts and situations with my own motives, ideas and visions,” he says, “I attach great importance to the details, the equipment, the costumes, because it allows you to embed painting within a specified period of time.”
Colored pencils haven’t quite received the recognition of their counterparts as a fine art material- and yet over the years, we’ve featured artists from all over the world who have surprised us with what can be achieved by these utensils from our elementary school sets. CHG Circa in Los Angeles sent a group of international artists a set of their own and invited them to refer back to their child imagination.
Rainbow waterfalls spill from the faces of Brian Donnelly’s men and women. The Toronto-based painter describes himself as a portrait painter, yet he distorts and erodes his subjects to sometimes unrecognizable ends. Donnelly’s paints from real life, selecting his subjects based on interesting features such as piercing eyes or characteristic facial hair. He then paints them on canvas before using a combination of turpentine and hand sanitizer to make the colors run.