Kip Omolade’s “Diovadiova Chrome” portrait series brings out the striking qualities of the human face. The artist takes inspiration from African folk art forms such as the ivory masks of Benin and the Ife bronze heads of Nigeria. He considers his work a contemporary exploration of the mask as a conduit between mankind and the spirit world. For his updated take on this timeworn subject matter, Omilade makes plaster casts of models’ faces and uses them to create resin sculptures, which he coats with chrome and embellishes with fake eyelashes. The masks serve as reference material for Omolade’s hyperrealist oil paintings, which pay homage to African cultural traditions in a novel way.
Kevin Peterson’s subjects exist somewhere between a wintery city and sunny Houston, where the artist is currently based. Do a web search on his art, and the response is polarizing. Hyperrealism has become a controversial art form- most admire the excruciating detail, while others disagree with copying tags or photographs. Without question, Petersons’ portraits of children in a graffiti-colored world are emotional and ironic. His current show at Thinkspace gallery, “Remnants”, portrays his own fantasy-urban jungle.
Images of an infant’s face marked with a plastic surgeon’s pen and an elderly woman with wrinkled skin that glows green under the light of a tanning bed are just some of the deeply disturbing images that will be displayed at Gusford Gallery as part of Oliver Jones’s solo exhibition, “Love the Skin You’re In,” opening September 12.
The hyper-realistic oil paintings of Joshua Suda will make you question whether you’re looking at a painting or a photograph as he recreates the features of the human face with stunning accuracy. Going beyond replicating life, many of Suda’s pieces also have elements of surrealism. Bizarre compositions, mixed with Suda’s impressive attention to detail, result in uncanny contortions of the human face. He often breaks the fourth wall, playing with the foreground and background to make it appear that the subject is bursting through the surface of the piece. In other works, he paints to mimic other media, replicating the detail of everything from pencil drawings to old photographs and contrasting them with how the subjects might appear to the human eye.
Fluffy, soft and vulnerable, the bunny may be the ultimate metaphor for the naiveté of childhood. New Orleans-based artist Alex Podesta creates mannequin-like sculptures of men dressed in bunny suits, often playing with stuffed rabbits, as an examination of early childhood development and the formation of self-awareness. Presented as doppelgangers or gangs of identical multiples, Podesta’s characters follow the trails of their curiosity, playing and experimenting with the limits of the world around them. “In all of my recent work I have culled the rich fantasies, daydreams, misconceptions and experiences of childhood and re-contextualized them through the filters of adulthood, experience and education,” wrote Podesta in his artist statement. Simultaneously unsettling and endearing, the adult characters in his work shed the pretensions of seriousness and masculinity, engaging in free-form play that often becomes lost as one comes of age.
New York-based artist Edie Nadelhaft has an interest in exploring the several different dimensions of varying biological surfaces. In her recent series, “Flesh,” the artist paints and draws her own hands. Working with a hyperrealist technique that almost breaks down into abstraction, the artist portrays the surfaces of her extremities with a detailed yet distorted perspective.