Ghanaian artist Jeremiah Quarshie finds the inspiration for his paintings in his immediate environment. Living and working in Accra, the capital of Ghana, his highly realistic acrylic portraits depict models, typically ordinary women, in roles of beauty queens, businesswomen, and laborers alike. In his own words, the people in his portraits are characters representing the “foundations of society into pools of utter elegance”, 21st century workers and fictional women.
Scott G. Brooks, featured here on our blog, paints offbeat portraits, often expressing a surreal narrative inspired by children’s books and his own psyche. Described as twisted, sentimental, and disturbing, his portraits are characterized by his use of wit and the distorted version of reality they present. “Using a language that is easily understood, I tell stories. I weave figures, symbols, and elements together to create a narrative to share with an audience,” he says.
German artist Tobias Kroeger, also known by his moniker “Tobe”, made his career as a successful street artist, but in 2013 he suddenly stopped and turned his attention towards the canvas. What he created is a series of glitchy portraits inspired by his roots in graffiti and a growing concern for our addiction to technology. “Composed of data fragments and machine parts”, his depiction of people is not far from the truth; a portrait of a new generation, living their lives in front of the computer screen.
For Toronto based artist Brian Donnelly, featured here, painting is a risky business. At first beautifully rendered in oil, he then sprays his subjects with turpentine and hand sanitizer until their faces are distorted beyond recognition, to a more limited expression. Donnelly’s work is all about embracing limitations: “I ask a lot of questions about art and how we define it,” he says. “How far away from the original state can we go before we stop calling something art? In the process, I end up drawing a parallel between the fragile nature of artwork and the human condition.”
“I believe that artists should speak about the most desperate and desirable issues for humanity,” says Korean painter Kwon Kyung-Yup. Though known for her realistic portraits of melancholy subjects, first featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 24, Kwon describes herself as a happy person whose paintings are about recalling memories. Her works find an emotional balance between her artistic inspirations, citing the beauty in Klimt’s paintings which she pairs with tragedy, as found in the works of Caravaggio.
During the last seven years, Ontario based artist Kit King has struggled with agoraphobia which is clinical anxiety in response to open spaces. As she explains, she lives her life “behind the same walls day in and day out” and worries she may never see her art outside the studio. Her emotions and relationship to spaces inform her works, featured here on our blog, and while highly technical, they represent the artist’s study of identity in the context of space.