Yasmine Weiss describes her works as “pretty realistic but not quite.” These oil paintings and drawings carry a surreal quality, with touches of the intimate and the disconcerting. Weiss says she has always had a fascination with humanity, and as being hard-pressed to explain why is part of the engine that fuels her work.
Louise Riley, an artist based in the London, began sewing because frankly, she was “too fast at painting.” She found that embroidery, in particular, gave her a chance to really immerse herself and understand what she was creating. And then one day, she tried a new experiment, using a mattress as her canvas.
Ghanaian artist Jeremiah Quarshie finds the inspiration for his paintings in his immediate environment. Living and working in Accra, the capital of Ghana, his highly realistic acrylic portraits depict models, typically ordinary women, in roles of beauty queens, businesswomen, and laborers alike. In his own words, the people in his portraits are characters representing the “foundations of society into pools of utter elegance”, 21st century workers and fictional women.
Scott G. Brooks, featured here on our blog, paints offbeat portraits, often expressing a surreal narrative inspired by children’s books and his own psyche. Described as twisted, sentimental, and disturbing, his portraits are characterized by his use of wit and the distorted version of reality they present. “Using a language that is easily understood, I tell stories. I weave figures, symbols, and elements together to create a narrative to share with an audience,” he says.
German artist Tobias Kroeger, also known by his moniker “Tobe”, made his career as a successful street artist, but in 2013 he suddenly stopped and turned his attention towards the canvas. What he created is a series of glitchy portraits inspired by his roots in graffiti and a growing concern for our addiction to technology. “Composed of data fragments and machine parts”, his depiction of people is not far from the truth; a portrait of a new generation, living their lives in front of the computer screen.
For Toronto based artist Brian Donnelly, featured here, painting is a risky business. At first beautifully rendered in oil, he then sprays his subjects with turpentine and hand sanitizer until their faces are distorted beyond recognition, to a more limited expression. Donnelly’s work is all about embracing limitations: “I ask a lot of questions about art and how we define it,” he says. “How far away from the original state can we go before we stop calling something art? In the process, I end up drawing a parallel between the fragile nature of artwork and the human condition.”