In depicting the human condition, Jean-Paul Mallozzi uses paint to express emotional narratives. His oil paintings make use of thickly painted areas, moving from more accurate detail to abstract elements and exaggerated colors to imply his subject’s feelings. Color is fundamental to Malozzi’s paintings. “Each one emits a color that echoes complex emotional states that all of us can relate to,” he explains.
A child of a bustling city of contrast and colors, Rodrigo Branco‘s affinity for abstraction may come as no surprise. But his blurred portraits of local people in São Paulo, created using patches of colors and expressive strokes, are actual representations of what the artist used to see as a little kid. Raised in the southern outskirts of the city, Branco had a severe vision impairment that was left untreated for years.
There is a magical simplicity about Brookyn based painter Alyssa Monk’s oil portraits, where looking at her work is like looking into the reflection of a forest pool. Her images portray ghostly figures that take form at the surface, inbetween the reflection of other natural elements like tree branches and the sun shining peeking through their foliage. Her lush depictions are often described as a blend of the figurative and landscape.
Nigerian artist Oresegun Olumide goes beyond realism with his meticulously detailed oil paintings that could easily be mistaken for photographs. Notoriously difficult to capture in fine art, water plays a central role in his portraits: each figure is unclothed, allowing Olumide to explore the distinct texture and aesthetic quality of water-on-skin.
Interpretations of Lyon based Eric Lacombe’s mixed media works and paintings have been varied and extreme: monstrous, melancholy, horrific, and even beautiful. Describing his art as “caricatures of the soul”, the self-taught artist’s images exaggerate and distort his characters’ faces into haunting portrayals. Their faces look almost like masks, some painted without mouths or eyes, or given bird-like beaks, and yet their transfiguration is the most revealing thing about them. Each is a sort of reflection of the artist’s own feelings, who likens his subjects’ appearance to a deconstruction of their torment.
Self-taught Romanian collage artists Silviu and Irina Székley consider their works to be “conceptual spontaneities” that distort familiar images into new, transfigured realities. The duo takes traditional images, especially 19th century masterpieces and shatters our expectations through unorthodox manipulation. As the artists say themselves, “Our approach to art is very naïve, ludic and hazardous.”