Portrait artist Mary Jane Ansell may dress up her female subjects in the traditional European fashions of men, but they evoke a strong femininity. Her near-hyper realistic oil paintings portray young girls who step into the roles of regents and soldiers, roles that women were not eligible for. Their clothing, such as the red coat, also takes on a modern connotation in fashion as being punk and fashionably forward. However, her subjects' personalities are more refined than tomboyish, with a delicate beauty in the way she draws eyes and features. Ansell's newer works mix such political elements with those of nature, such as flowers and animal skulls. Take a look at new latest paintings for "Liberty's Arc," after the jump.
New Zealand based artist Peter Stichbury combines attractive good looks with ugliness in 1950s style portraits. His Big-Eyed young subjects represent non-conventional beauty, something we can find in today's supermodels and misfits alike. Stichbury regards these young people as a collective group in society, which he renders in a style that flattens their facial features to a non specific point. In their abstract, clone-like similarities, they become anonymous and linked to one another. They are intentionally deprived of human emotion, owing to their awkwardness. At the same time, his aesthetic can be regarded as strangely realistic.