Tag Archives: portraits

Larger-Than-Life Hyperrealistic Portraits Rendered in Graphite and Charcoal by Arinze Stanley 

Till He Comes, 2017. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley works with graphite and charcoal pencils on large sheets of cartridge paper to render enormous portraits of his subjects. Spending upwards of 200 hours on an artwork, Stanley agonizes over the most minute details of each piece to painstakingly capture reflections of light, droplets of sweat, or tangles of hair.

Where some hyperrealistic artists lean towards idealized perfection, Stanley instead focuses on pure realism, infusing portraits with a raw sense of emotion and drama. The scale of each piece, always slightly larger than life, adds an uncanny three-dimensional aspect.

Stanley recently exhibited work at Omenka Gallery and you can see more of his works (and pieces in progress) on Facebook. (via ARTNAU, Juxtapoz)

Till He Comes, 2017. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

Till He Comes, 2017. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

Till He Comes, 2017. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

INSOMNIA, 2017. 27″ X 42″. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils on Strathmore 300 Bristol (smooth) paper.

INSOMNIA, 2017. 27″ X 42″. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils on Strathmore 300 Bristol (smooth) paper.

INSOMNIA, 2017. 27″ X 42″. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils on Strathmore 300 Bristol (smooth) paper.

Desolation, 2016. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

Desolation, 2016. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

FAMISHED (Disturbia series), 2016. Progress photo.

FAMISHED (Disturbia series), 2016. 26″ x 36″. Graphite and charcoal on Cartridge paper.

Innocence, 2016. 33” X 23.4″. White and black charcoal pencils and graphite pencils on Lambeth Cartridge paper.

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Found Photographs Embroidered With Colorful Thread by Julie Cockburn 

“The Conundrum” (2016), hand embroidery on found photograph, all images courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York

London-based artist Julie Cockburn transforms vintage photographs by embroidering across their surfaces, adding bright pops of thread to portraits that are either black and white or have faded over time. Using found images from eBay and flea markets, Cockburn obscures the faces of strangers, layering the portraits with multi-colored dots, geometric patterns, or ovals in varying gradients.

Cockburn will exhibit work with The Photographers’ Gallery at The Photography Show presented by AIPAD March 30 through April 2, 2017 on New York City’s Pier 94. You can see more of Cockburn’s embroidered images on her Instagram and Facebook. (via Hyperallergic)

“Quizitive” (2016)

“Honeydew” (2013)

“The Secret” (2012)

“Point of View” (2014)

“The Orthodontist” (2014)

“Viewpoint” (2012)

“Morphine” (2014)

“Troublemaker” (2015)

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Artist Felice House Reimagines Scenes from Classic Western Films with Female Cowboys as Leads 

Julia Dean in “Giant”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 54″ x 68″.

Angered by the gendered division perpetually seen in classic Western films, painter Felice House decided to create her painted series Re-Western. The collection of works are a re-imagining of her favorite Western films cast with female leads instead of the traditional male cowboys, painting females in place of actors such as James Dean, John Wayne, or Clint Eastwood. The women in her paintings are strapped with shotguns riding horses, fiercely looking out onto a deserted plain, and strongly staring into the eyes of the audience clad in plain button-downs and bright red cowboy boots.

“The western movie tradition is so established; so accepted, so mythologized that it spans the globe,” said House to Colossal. “I love the genre, and at the same time when I sit down to watch a Western movie, I start to feel angry. For the most part, the roles in Westerns are totally inaccessible to me.”

Deciding to start a conversation with this frustration, House choose to paint these reimagined Westerns to ask straightforward questions to a society that continuously handed over these roles to males. House seeks to ask what society would be like with this imagined reversal—how would education be changed? What would our reestablished priorities look like with females as the lead role?

Liakesha Dean in “Giant”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 36″ x 48″.

Julia Dean Portrait, 2013. Oil on canvas, 24″x 20″.

“I would argue that in today’s culture portraying women without objectifying them is an intentional and political act,” said House. “The art historical and current cultural norm is to portray women to extol their sexual beauty and to encourage possessiveness. For centuries men have painted images of women for men. Now that women have access to education and training, women are painting women as we see ourselves.”

House uses her female gaze and voice to create strong, female heroes in environments we all know, reestablishing our connection to the well-known historical settings. Working with the idea of a hero, House paints her portraits larger than life. She encourages the viewer to look up and become dwarfed by the women and their power, hoping this change in physical perspective might encourage a change in mental perspective as well.

Several of House’s female portraits are currently in the group exhibition Sight Unseen at Abend Gallery in Denver through March 25. Pieces from her Re-Western series will be included the upcoming exhibition Woman as Warrior at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago in August. You can see more of her work on her website and Instagram. (via The Creators Project)

Karan and Nanc in Open Range, 2015. Oil on canvas, 36″ x 60″.

Virginia Eastwood in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 62″ x 80″.

Rebekah Wayne in True Grit (Study), 2014. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″.

Krimmie Wayne in “The Searchers”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 60″ x 40″.

Liakesha Cooper in “High Noon”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 36″ x 48″.

Virginia Wayne Portrait, 2013. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″.

Stasha Dean in “Giant”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 90″ x 60″.

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Hyperrealistic Oil Paintings of Vivid Chrome Masks by Kip Omolade 

Diovadiova Chrome Kitty Cash I, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

Brooklyn-based artist Kip Omolade creates large-scale oil paintings of chrome masks, depicting not only the subtle details of female faces, but incorporating the reflected environment of each piece. The series, entitled Diovadiova Chrome, makes reference in part to historical African sculptures, while exploring contemporary aspects of identity, luxury, and immortality. Each piece begins as a mold and cast taken from an actual model which is then utilized as source material for Omolade’s towering paintings which can measure several feet tall.

Diovadiova Chrome portraits historically connect to ancient, realistic African sculptures such as Benin ivory masks and Ife bronze heads,” shares Omolade in his artist statement. “The oil paintings are psychological studies that investigate immortality, the universal masks we all wear and contemporary notions of beauty and luxury. The labor-intensive process involves making a mold and cast of each model’s face, reworking the cast plaster sculpture, producing a version in resin and adding a chrome layer with artificial eyelashes. The final sculpture then serves as a model for the hyper-realistic oil painting. This technique maintains the likeness qualities of portraiture while re-presenting a mask that serves as a conduit between the spiritual and natural world.”

The term Omolade uses to describe the series, Diovadiova, is a word he derived from a combination of the Italian word “Dio” meaning god, and the historical meaning of the word “diva” which is goddess.

Omolade first began his art career working as a graffiti artist while interning at Marvel Comics and The Center for African Art and went on to earn a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. His work was most recently included in the Re:Semblance exhibition at the Redbull House of Art in Detroit and last year’s FREAK OUT! show at Zhou B Art Center. You can follow more of his work on Instagram. (via Creator’s Project)

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn IV, Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in.

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn I, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

Diovadiova Chrome Kitty Cash IV, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

Diovadiova Chrome Kitty Cash II, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn V, Oil on canvas, 12 x 16 in.

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn III, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

Diovadiova Chrome Joyce II, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

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Enormous Palette Knife Portraits and Figures by Salman Khoshroo 

Working with a large palette knife and thick globs of oil paint, Tehran-based artist Salman Khoshroo creates large-scale figures and portraits that practically drip from the canvas. The scale on a computer or mobile screen can be quite deceiving, as most of these pieces are several feet tall, composed of enormously precise strokes that veer toward abstraction while eventually leading to a cohesive figure. Most of the paintings seen here were created for a 2015 show at Azad Gallery and an exhibition earlier this year at Shirin Gallery. You can follow Khoshroo’s work on Facebook and Instagram.

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Prismatic Sketches of Hands and Faces by Lui Ferreyra 

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Artist Lui Ferreyra draws colorful portraits of hands and faces, works that use discrete shapes of color as highlights and shadows. These geometric fragments are blended by the viewer’s eye rather than the artist’s hand, producing color fields that Ferreyra intends to call attention to the connection between seeing and language.

“There’s a double move at play here,” explains Ferreyra’s website about his work. “The first move is substantiated by a geometric matrix which functions as surface: it embraces and emphasizes the aspect of flatness within a complex network of geometric shapes, each unique unto itself. The second move is fulfilled by the cumulative effect of all the shapes functioning together as a color-field in which each shape contextualizes every other shape, thereby providing all the necessary visual cueing to manifest a kind of window one can look through. Surface and window, at and through, like language which points both at the world and back at itself.”

You can see more of Ferreyra’s colorful drawings, in addition to oil paintings, on InstagramFacebook, or William Havu Gallery where he is represented. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

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