In anticipation of Tim Okamura's upcoming solo at Yeelen Gallery, Miami this December, we take a look at his most recent portraits of empowered African-American women. We last featured the British-Canadian-Japanese artist's work in 2011, around the time of his "Bronx Brooklyn Queens" exhibition, which presented women of the NYC landscape who daringly transcend stereotype. Stylistically, his new pieces are hyper realistic yet also gestured and unconventional. Okamura's use of contemporary aesthetics and materials, as in his collaborations with fellow urban artists, and personal symbolism uniquely connect each piece to the artist.
At the top of Mexican born artist Ana Teresa Fernandez’s Facebook page is a quote by Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda: “Pinned by the sun between solstice… And equinox, drowsy and tangled together… We drifted for months and woke… With the bitter taste of land on our lips.” It aptly describes her hyper-real paintings where anonymous figures drift through a vast ‘ocean’ that is their surroundings. Fernandez creates impressions of the female body based on real-life performances of her own design. In her recent exhibition, “Foreign Bodies”, she painted tanned arms, legs, and horses gliding through a sink hole in the Yucatan Peninsula jungle. Their bodies are unrecognizable through the light refractions in the water, referring to society’s distorted ideals.