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.