Sarah Ball’s oil paintings, subtle in their complexity, are intended for the viewer to encounter the portrait’s subject intimately. The practice of physiognomy, or judging the character of a person just from their facial features or expressions, has long been a subject of fascination for the artist. In efforts like her current Anima Mundi show “Themself,” she culls her subjects from historic photographic archives, social media, and beyond. “These source images become a starting point for a methodical process of understanding, assumption and translation, where the aesthetic ‘mask’ and what lies beneath become the focus of engagement,” the gallery says.
Carl Randall captures the energy and heartbeats of London and Tokyo through his crowded paintings, each figure its own portrait of a real pedestrian in his or her respective city. Toying with perspective, his recent works also implement the architecture and skylines of the inhabited metro area.
Jen Mann’s stirring oil portraits blend realism and abstraction, isolating aspects of the face for photo-negative representations and graphic notes. Mann uses contemporary iconography in her works, using emojis and film subtitles as inspiration. Her toying with a single subject over many portraits represent the prism of personality.
Rebecca Morgan’s portraits of country folk are delightfully weird if somewhat off-putting. Set in hunting camps and other woodsy environments, the artist’s work is an exploration of rural and off-the-grid culture, featuring an array of eccentric characters. Her paintings and drawings bounce between humorous, ambivalent and grotesque depictions of everyday existence in rural Appalachia, inspired by the artist’s upbringing in a small town in central Pennsylvania. Check out more of her work on Instagram.
Rebecca Hastings‘ art is a family affair. The Australian artist uses herself and her children as the focal subjects in her highly realist oil paintings – yet noticeably absent from these portraits is the sentimentality one would expect an artist-mother to insert into her depictions of family life. Instead, Hastings subverts these idealized expectations to reveal the more complex realities of child rearing that is rarely touched upon in glossy advertisements or family portraits.
Annemarie Busschers (featured on our blog here) is fascinated by human imperfection. As a society, we tend to run away from anything that renders us imperfect – yet from the artist’s viewpoint, these traits we so eagerly try to disown are what lend to an individual’s distinction. Busscher’s embrace of all imperfections is reflected in her raw, emotive portraits of people, which focus deeply on the lines, textures, and colorations of the skin’s surface to draw attention to her subjects’ flaws and irregularities.