The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Tag: portraits

In her manipulations of the face and artistic form, L.A. Bryson creates oil portraits that find humanity in distortion. Her paintings are at once elegant and chaotic in execution, her dedicated “wet-to-wait” process requiring singles sessions between 6 and 10 hours in duration. With her toying with the texture of oils, the artist is both a sculptor and a painter.
Michael Reeder's sold-out show "mOMENt" comes to a close this weekend at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, Calif. The artist's multilayered graphic works use oils, acrylics, spraypaint, and other materials for striking portraits. The artist was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 44, and he was last mentioned on the Hi-Fructose blog here.
At first glance, Nathaniel Mary Quinn's works may appear as collages. But the Chicago-raised artist’s stirring portraits are rendered in charcoal, oil-paint, paint-stick, gouache and oil pastel by his own hands, an alchemistic process that is both meticulous and intuitive. Much of his work pulls from his own experiences, composite memories that mix bright pop cultural references and the bleakness found in his subjects.
Alma Haser is known for adding surreal, sculptural twists to her portraits. One of her new series sees the photographer creating puzzles out of images of identical twins, then swapping every other the piece of the separate portraits for absorbing results. Haser didn’t know where facial features would end up in this process, offering a surprise to both the artist and the viewer. Haser was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 31.
Belinda Wiltshire crafts stirring oil paintings, carrying abstractions or other surreal touches that add intimacy to each portrait. The Melbourne-based painter works primarily in the figurative, and at times, fellow artists appear in her pieces. Peers like Tamara Dean and The Huxleys have been depicted by Wiltshire.
Nicolas Romero, also known as “Ever,” is a street artist who has delved into oil and acrylic works in recent years. His strange portraits blend the abstract and the real, each packed with both humor and earnestness. In recent years, as evidenced below, he’s always displayed these paintings as animated GIFs.
The new oil paintings of New York-based artist Kajahl explore "the history and taxonomy of portraiture." The paintings take notes from differing cultures through time for hybrid reflections on the history of human creativity. The artist's current show at Richard Heller Gallery, titled "Unearthed Entities," presents a new collection of these works.
South Korea-raised, Melbourne-based artist Kim Hyunji (also known as Kim Kim Kim) crafts stirring oil portraits that experiment with texture and movement. The artist has said that unlike photographs, “painting no longer relies on flatness; instead it has branched out in the expanded field where I see paint as a sculptural material to add physicality to my portraits.”
Canadian artist Mathieu Laca crafts oil paintings that use texture and abstractions that toy with the conventions of portraiture. Whether it’s famous subjects or the vague everyman or everywoman, the artist packs both meticulous, odd flair and personality into each of the paintings. He's given this treatment to anyone from Henry David Thoreau and Albert Einstein to historical arts figures like Vincent Van Gogh.
From certain angles, works by Noah Scalin can just look like piles and piles of clothes strewn along the floor. But at the right angle, absorbing portraits come into focus. Recent subjects include Hellen Keller, Maggie L. Walker, and others. The length of these sculptures can comprise around 30 feet. His work explores “the theme of transience – specifically the temporary nature of our individual lives and tenuous nature of human existence on the planet.”
Bart Nijstad, an artist based in the Netherlands, creates surreal portraits that move between pop and everyday subjects. Though the artist would say that his topics and environments can be considered "sober and Dutch." He uses different mediums in accomplishing this, including gouache, watercolor, and pencil.
Matthew Ivan Cherry, a Boston-based painter, creates oil portraits that ooze with vulnerability and a erratic, yet cohesive style. He uses his subjects, often met on the streets or on social media, to explore issues of individuality, gender identity, and the inherent beauty of the human form. Certain projects, like "somewhereX,” are tethered to Cherry’s upbringing as a Mormon. The project features enormous portraits of LGBTQ mormons (whether active or inactive), including Cherry himself.
Amy Sherald’s oil paintings are arresting portraits, absorbing in their choices of palette and mood. Within her works’ titles, we’re given further insight into the personalities of these figures, like “What's Precious Inside Of Him Does Not Care To Be Known By The Mind In Ways That Diminish Its Presence (All American)” and “Try On Dreams Until I Find The One That Fits Me. They All Fit Me.” Yet, these works stand alone as engrossing, vibrant odes to individualism. For a recent show at Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago, the venue said that the artist creates “imagined figures based on real-life interactions, subverting and exploring notions of black identity through her unique sense of visual culture, color and line.”
Hollis Dunlap, a Vermont-born artist, crafts portraits that blend painted realism and sculptural concepts and abstractions. These oil paintings can appear as distorted photographs, yet hidden within these textured backgrounds and surprising hues are several hidden decisions and possibilities. Hollis started painting when he was 14, studying strictly realism before developing this current style.
Armed with fungi, moss, and other organic materials, New York-based artist Lina Hsiao crafts otherworldly portraits. The artist, a 2013 graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology, creates characters that feel at once familiar and alien, with three-dimensional textures and staging. Contained within various parts of these faces are disparate landscapes and backdrops.
Rossina Bossio, born in Bogota, Colombia, crafts mixed-media portraits that contain symbolic flourishes and abstractions. Although the artist seems to focus primarily on women in her series like “Unidades Disponibles,” she intends to create conversations that explore the broader human condition. Or as her statement maintains, “imagining a utopian world where we will no longer need to talk about gender issues when facing images of women in galleries and museums.”
The work of French graphic designer and painter Jonathan Ouisse moves between stylized portraits and surreal fantasy scenes. His series “Hungarian countryside portraits” uses a topographical approach to the faces of his real-life subjects, blending a straightforward subject with regional iconography and designs. The artist is currently based in Budapest, Hungary.
Intricate portraits created by Jason Chen, a photographer based in Philadelphia, come from multiple images of the same subject. But as the artist weaves them together, in a process he says explores “time, movement, process, and mutation,” a new representation of the individual emerges (and the backdrop that encloses them). And somehow, their humanity remains intact.
England based artist Dylan Andrews uses light and shadow to portray emotion in his drawings. His monochromatic charcoal portraits build up to a dramatic intensity that is almost surreal. Owing to the drama and atmosphere in his pieces is the use of black and white high contrast of tones. Pattern and texture is another aspect of the work that he uses to explore the emotional possibilities. The shadows on his young subjects' extend the reality of the image beyond the page, a reflection from an object we cannot see. 
Erin Anderson paints with oils on copper sheets, strategically using negative space to incorporate her surface's glimmering texture into her compositions. Her portraits are realistic and straightforward. But the copper swirls that envelop her subjects endows these ordinary people with a supernatural glow. Anderson etches the metal, giving it texture and a sense of movement . She states that she is interested in learning about the ways various elements of nature are connected and hopes to illustrate a similar, universal connection among her human subjects.

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