Following the release of his Fantagraphics book with portraits of all 44 U.S. presidents, illustrator Drew Friedman brings his satirical, “warts-and-all” style to Ohio State University’s Friends of the Libraries Gallery at Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. In addition to his book illustrations, the exhibition also features his other presidential-themed works over the years, like the magazine cover above.
In the recent, enormous portraits painted by Mike Dargas, the artist pays homage to major figures in art history and tucks surprises into their contours. With “The Unbreakable,” which honors Frida Kahlo, the artist says she was “physically broken but her spirit was unbreakable and her powerful essence eternal.” See more of his recent portraits below.
Sarah Ball’s oil paintings, subtle in their complexity, are intended for the viewer to encounter the portrait’s subject intimately. The practice of physiognomy, or judging the character of a person just from their facial features or expressions, has long been a subject of fascination for the artist. In efforts like her current Anima Mundi show “Themself,” she culls her subjects from historic photographic archives, social media, and beyond. “These source images become a starting point for a methodical process of understanding, assumption and translation, where the aesthetic ‘mask’ and what lies beneath become the focus of engagement,” the gallery says.
Carl Randall captures the energy and heartbeats of London and Tokyo through his crowded paintings, each figure its own portrait of a real pedestrian in his or her respective city. Toying with perspective, his recent works also implement the architecture and skylines of the inhabited metro area.
Jen Mann’s stirring oil portraits blend realism and abstraction, isolating aspects of the face for photo-negative representations and graphic notes. Mann uses contemporary iconography in her works, using emojis and film subtitles as inspiration. Her toying with a single subject over many portraits represent the prism of personality.
Rebecca Morgan’s portraits of country folk are delightfully weird if somewhat off-putting. Set in hunting camps and other woodsy environments, the artist’s work is an exploration of rural and off-the-grid culture, featuring an array of eccentric characters. Her paintings and drawings bounce between humorous, ambivalent and grotesque depictions of everyday existence in rural Appalachia, inspired by the artist’s upbringing in a small town in central Pennsylvania. Check out more of her work on Instagram.