portraits

Posts tagged
with portraits



Art

Contemplative Works by Ali Cavanaugh Consider Vulnerability and the Sublime Through Watercolor

January 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Steep” (2017), 16 x 20 inches. All images © Ali Cavanaugh, shared with permission

Through delicate washes of peach, aqua, and smoky gray, St. Louis-based artist Ali Cavanaugh (previously) renders watercolor portraits that lay her subjects’ spirits bare. “I’m continually searching for something complex in human expression,” she tells Colossal. “Curiosity, sadness, wonder, hesitation, peace, and acceptance all in one glance.”

Cavanaugh paints her dreamlike works on wet clay panels, allowing the bright backdrops to illuminate the translucent pigments. The resulting works are introspective and intimate while simultaneously harnessing the universal experience of the sublime. “I want the viewer to look at one of my portraits and say, ‘What are they thinking?,’ and also at the same time say, ‘This is so familiar and is exactly how my loved one looks at me when they are vulnerable,'” she says.

If you’re in New York, you can see Cavanaugh’s portraits through January 28 at Salmagundi Club. Otherwise, shop available originals on her site, and keep an eye out for future print releases on Instagram. She also shares videos chronicling her process and tutorials on some of her techniques on Patreon.

 

“Above,” 12 x 12 inches

“Smolder” (2017), 12 x 12 inches

“Only Once” (2015), 18 x 18 inches

“Confidante” (2017), 12 x 16 inches

“One to Listen and One to Love”

“Rest on Water” (2017), 12 x 12 inches

 

 



Art

Tender Embroidered Portraits by Ruth Miller Are Tinged with Expressive Colors

January 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Congregants,” 20 x 35 inches. All images © Ruth Miller, shared with permission

Beginning with a line drawing in pencil, U.S.-based artist Ruth Miller renders hand-embroidered portraits based on photos. Her wool tapestries and thread drawings layer stitches in yarns of both realistic and fanciful colors, creating expressive depictions that use the material’s texture to enhance light and shadow. “Coupled with realistic drawing, that tiny amount of physical depth brings the images closer, giving them a more immediate sense of presence… In the months that they’re still in my studio, the stories they tell become more concrete and nuanced in my mind, just as they would in a steadily lengthening conversation,” the artist writes.

Miller’s works are often life-sized and take months to complete, a process she details on her site. “At work, I spend a good deal of time simply looking; first seeing, then wondering,” she shares. “Each of the pieces you see on this page changed me as the narratives within them took form within me.” (via Women’s Art)

 

“The Impossible Dream is the Gateway to Self-Love”

Left: “Teacup Fishing,” hand-embroidered wool on fabric, 58 x 31 inches. Right: “Our Lady of Unassailable Well-being,” hand-embroidered wool on fabric, 19 x 21 inches

Detail of “Teacup Fishing,” hand-embroidered wool on fabric, 58 x 31 inches

“Duafe”

Detail of “Unspoken Truths”

Photo by Ann Madden

 

 



Illustration

Human Minds Burst into Splashes of Color in Surreal Digital Illustrations by Carolina Rodríguez Fuenmayor

January 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Carolina Rodríguez Fuenmayor, shared with permission

Bogotá-based illustrator Carolina Rodríguez Fuenmayor draws portraits and intimate scenarios brimming with surreal elements and spots of color. In her digital pieces, Rodríguez Fuenmayor tends to obscure subjects’ faces with bright bursts, masses of florals, and whirlpool-like ripples that cloud their minds and explode into their surroundings. The vivid illustrations peek into the workings of the human psyche and the idiosyncratic commotion it produces. “I wouldn’t say that there’s a particular feeling I’m focused on,” she shares. “I infuse all my pieces with a mix of random, confusing, and funny emotions about what I think life is about.”

Pick up a print and explore more of Rodríguez Fuenmayor’s imaginative pieces on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Human Anatomy and Decomposing Flora Unveil a Surreal Mix of Dreams and Feelings in Rafael Silveira's Portraits

December 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Rafael Silveira, shared with permission

In Rafael Silveira’s Unportraits, magenta curls and slick, turquoise coifs frame the bizarre scenarios unfolding in a subject’s mind. The Brazilian artist, who gravitates towards oil paints in shades of pink and blue, translates a character’s psyche through wilting flowers, gashes in the earth’s surface, and parrots with feathers that drip like wet paint. Anatomical elements like singular eyes, hearts sprouting veins, and twisting brain matter bolster the unearthly qualities of each work, which meld flora and fauna into a surreal mishmash. “From inside, we are a strange mix of dreams, thoughts, feelings, and human meat,” Silveira tells Colossal. “I think these portraits are not persons but moods.”

Peculiar situations surround the subjects as their sweaters melt like ice cream and spiders spin webs from the parched ground supplanting their necks, a visual that evokes thick wrinkles associated with aging. These fleeting actions are part of the artist’s reference to paper ephemera and the ways thoughts and feelings decompose over time. “This rich mental energy is like an invisible raw element, part of the immaterial alchemy of my works,” he says. “We can’t control what life brings us, but we can decide how to react. We make these small decisions all the time. These characters evoke the power of reaction.”

Silveira is based in Curitiba, Brazil, and has his work slated for a January group exhibition at London’s Dorothy Circus Gallery and in March in an immersive solo show at Farol Santander in São Paulo. Until then, pick up a print and keep an eye on his Instagram for new additions to his portrait series, which will be on view in July at Choque Cultural Gallery.

 

 

 



Art

Contrasting Shades of Gray with Vibrant Color, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe Paints Bold, Subversive Portraits of Black Subjects

December 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

“David Theodore” (2021), oil on canvas, 144 x 108 inches. All images © Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, courtesy of Roberts Projects Gallery, shared with permission

Ghanaian artist Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe has a proclivity for contrast. In his striking portraits of Black people, he gravitates toward shades of gray to render the skin tone of single figures or small groups, who sport patterned garments, hats of textured fabrics, and generally vibrant fashions that are in direct opposition to their physical features. The bright, bold color palette is the artist’s preferred method for translating emotional states, inner lives, and idiosyncrasies, one he emulates with the richly textured impasto backdrops surrounding his subjects.

Quaicoe is currently a resident at Rubell Museum, where he’s created a trio of monumental works that consider the trope of the American cowboy. “Rainyanni,” “Moses Adomah” and “David Theodore” stand 12 feet high and are reminiscent of the bandana-wearing figures the artist painted earlier this year. Similarly subversive is “The American Dreamer” (shown below), which centers on a younger figure—the subject’s skin is covered in a swirling pattern of lines, a recurring trait in some of the artist’s most recent pieces—who wears a hat printed with stars and strips.

A few of Quaicoe’s portraits are on view through January 27, 2022, at Green Family Art Foundation in Dallas and at LACMA through April 17, 2022, and you can explore more of his oil-based works on Artsy and Instagram.

 

“Rainyanni (Cowgirl)” (2021), oil on canvas,144 x 108 inches. Courtesy of Roberts Projects Gallery

“Dapper III” (2020), oil on canvas, 84 x 54 inches. Courtesy of Roberts Projects Gallery, photo by Alan Shaffer

“The American Dreamer” (2021), oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Roberts Projects Gallery, photo by Alan Shaffer

“Blue Turtle Neck” (2021), oil on canvas, 60 x 40 inches. Courtesy of the aritst and Almine Rech

“Allure” (2020), oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Roberts Projects Gallery, photo by Alan Shaffer

“Moses Adomah” (2021), oil on canvas, 144 x 108 inches. Courtesy of Roberts Projects Gallery

“Shelcy and Christy” (2020), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Courtesy of Roberts Projects Gallery, photo by Alan Shaffer

 

 



Photography

A Montage of 64 Portraits Reveals the Wildly Diverse Characteristics of Foxes

December 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Roeselien Raimond, shared with permission

Back in 2009, Dutch wildlife photographer Roeselien Raimond snapped a portrait of a fox that always seemed to be squinting her eyes in contemplation. That first image sparked a fascination with the creatures and their idiosyncratic expressions, an interest that’s culminated in a decades-long project and now montage documenting the fantastically diverse animals. “Foxes’ characters may differ as much as human characters,” she writes. “Shy and arrogant, from wallflower to cocky, chronically happy or notoriously sad. Helpful or headstrong. Mischievous and cute. Name it, and you’ll have a fox version of it.”

Raimond photographed all foxes from the same angle to allow for easy comparisons, and the result reveals a wildly varied display of characteristics: there are differences in fur color and pattern, face shape, eyes, snout length, and the way their fur trims their ears. Even their expressions aren’t alike, and some appear to bask in the sunlight while others intently focus on an object in front of them.

The collected portraits and individual shots are available as prints in Raimond’s shop, and she shares many of her wildlife encounters on Instagram. You also might enjoy this study of bee faces. (via My Modern Met)