Halloween is supposed to be about embracing the sinister, but somewhere along the way, sinister became sexy. Enter the sexy Halloween costume. Artist Deborah Oropallo embraces this costume phenomenon in her layered photo-montages of subjects best known by their masterpiece museum portraits. For her series titled “Guise”, Oropallo superimposed pigmented photographic prints and acrylic painting in a way that makes her costumed subjects almost indistinguishable. If you look closely, suddenly, famous faces such as the Girl with a Pearl Earring become the Sexy Maid, Sexy Nurse, Sexy Circus Ringmaster, the list goes on.
As a young girl, artist Margaret Bowland‘s favorite books and songs told stories about love and life, stories that condition girls to expect certain things out of life and want to be a certain way. Ideas about love, beauty, and personal identity are at the heart of her 19th century-inspired oil paintings, covered here. In particular, her portraits often feature the same African American girl named “J”, grandly styled with her face painted white, and attended to by white servants. She makes a reappearance in Bowland’s upcoming exhibition at Driscoll Babcock in New York, “Power”.
Canadian-born artist Andrew Salgado borrows a variety of influences from art history and popular culture, to paint portraits of deconstructed identities. The people Salgado chooses to portray are complex personalities. Salgado acknowledges this, but does not strive to paint the person’s whole identity. Instead, Salgado uses a variety of abstract elements to underline the now-ness during which his subjects were painted.
New York based artist Hope Gangloff paints expressive and visually striking portraits with emotional depth. First covered here, her portraits primarily depict family, friends and other artists in intimate, vaguely erotic and melancholy scenes. Gangloff has described her paintings as caricatures- rather than capturing her subjects’ likeness, she focuses on their details separately and intensely, and exaggerates their features like hands and feet.
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.