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.
Korean born artist Samantha Wall’s black and white works explore the complexities of race, particularly her own multi-raciality’ between living in Korea and now the United States. First featured on our blog, Wall primarily works in graphite and charcoal to create detailed and conceptual drawings. For her upcoming exhibit at Roq la Rue gallery in Seattle, “Let Your Eyes Adjust to the Dark”, Wall created new works using sumi ink and dried pigments to achieve a haunting style of expressionism.
In cartoons, when a character is having a bad day, or particularly depressed, he will have his own small dark cloud following him, often raining and occasionally hitting him with lightning. The more depressed he is, the more it will be just rain, while lightning often indicates an angry mood. The figures and objects in the oil paintings of Toronto based artist Yang Cao must be particularly moody. He paints fantastical still life and portraits of people with their own personal rainclouds. “I like the unpredictability of the cloud. It’s shapeless and changes all the time, it follows the wind and never stays in one form and place. Somehow I find this as a resemblance to our human nature and mind. Sometimes I wonder about the relationship between clouds and winds in comparison to people and society,” he says.
First featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 26, Dunedin, New Zealand based artist Sarah Dolby has always created character driven portraits. Her paintings combine aspects of traditional portraiture with her own whimsical narrative. In her most recent work, Dolby has been exploring concepts such as time, anxiety, nature and death and the challenging role these play in our lives. “My internal world is quite chaotic,” she says, “and I often only find peace when trying to make sense of this through my work.”
Minneapolis based artist Michael Carson captures the fleeting moments of stylish modern day people. While there is a sense of immediacy in painting them, there is also a timelessness in their 40s and 90s-esque glamour. His subject’s fashion is one of the ways that Carson injects himself into his works; patterns in clothing and the interiors of rooms are particularly prevalent, reflecting his interests in design and fashion.
Los Angeles based artist Justin Bower’s larger than life oil paintings feature anonymous subjects that appear digitized, but are painstakingly hand-painted. Through their expressive, glitchy faces, first covered in Hi-Fructose Vol 31, Bower examines our close relationship with technology. In our 2014 interview with the artist, he said, “My work is foremost about the destabilization of the contemporary subject in an increasing control society, and often I use the digital realm as the environment to place them in. It’s almost an ontological build up from scratch, building a new idea of who we are.” On September 10th, Bower will debut a long-awaited new series at UNIX Gallery in New York with his exhibit “The Humiliations”.