Canadian-born artist Andrew Salgado (previously here and here) presents a new body of work composed of towering portraits that span over eight-feet-tall. The mixed media works incorporate materials as diverse as paperback books and miniature cacti—objects that bring even more texture to the cross-hatched oil and pastel faces portrayed on each canvas. The works are included in his solo exhibition A Room With a View of the Ocean which runs through August 20 at Lauba House in Zagreb, Croatia. You can see more of Salgado’s mixed media works on his Facebook and Instagram.
New York City-based artist Nicolas V. Sanchez (previously) creates masterful drawings with only the aid of a few ballpoint pens, rendering unbelievably realistic portraits and still lifes in his many sketchbooks. Due to his precise application of highlights and shadows several of his works seem three-dimensional, such as the fruit bowl seen below which looks placed on the page and not drawn.
Sanchez is also a talented painter, working with oil to create blurred familial scenes on canvas or linen. You can see more of his sketchbook-based ink drawings, and browse his collection of paintings, on his Instagram and Facebook.
Drawing inspiration from across centuries, mediums, and cultures, artist Rebecca Szeto (previously) identifies both anonymous and historically significant women to depict atop the carved handles of old used paint brushes. From the first woman to graduate with a degree in architecture from MIT to a Chibok schoolgirl kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, or an anonymous face lifted from a 17th century Baroque painting, each portrait presents the face of a woman who has come in and out of focus throughout history.
“I am interested in things that fall between the cracks of place and language,” says Szeto in her artist statement. “Rust, dead bees, beaten up paintbrushes and scrap materials from my immediate surroundings all become a starting point. Play and chance are integral parts of my process; they’re a way for me to detach from preconceived ideas about the materials so I can freely explore their inherent qualities and investigate their deeper implications.”
You can explore the individual stories of all the women featured in the works seen here on Szeto’s website, and she’ll have work on view at Root Division in San Francisco as part of an exhibition titled Bizarre Bizarre curated by Michael Arcega starting in July.
The female characters inhabiting the world of London-based illustrator Miles Johnston appear to be undergoing near perpetual transformation, their faces or bodies split in half, or their entire form morphing into globby organic forms. Over the past few years he’s examined four specific transformations organized into series titled Deform, Divide, Attract, and Recur. Johnston will have work on view at the upcoming Small Works exhibition at beinArt Gallery and you can also follow him on Instagram. (via Booooooom, Artnau)
Over the last three years photographer Jem Cresswell has photographed humpback whales during their annual migration to Vava’u, Tonga, swimming with the great creatures in the vast waters of the southern Pacific Ocean. Cresswell’s series Giants captures the individual personality of the great whales, each of which seem to pose specifically for his underwater camera.
“I was initially drawn to the whales’ gentle nature, sheer size and the feeling of insignificance in their presence,” said Cresswell. “Over the past 3 years returning to Tonga, I have sought to capture intimate portraits of these complex and conscious animals, bringing the viewer into the world of these mystical giants.”
In addition to being intrigued by the animals’ size, the Australian-based artist is also fascinated by their brains. In 2006, spindle cells, which were only thought to be present in humans and great apes, were also found to exist within the brains of humpback whales. These cells, which are tied to social organization, empathy, and intuition, were found to be more than three times as prevalent in humpback whales than they were in humans.
This sense of humanness is one of the reasons that Cresswell chooses to shoot his underwater subjects in black and white. “The main focus of the project concerns the whale’s sense of character and consciousness,” he explained to Colossal. “To me, black and white avoids distraction and draws the viewer directly to the subject. Black and white also has a sense of timelessness to it, which I feel represents how long these creatures have been around for.”
Cresswell will continue photographing humpback whales in the future, but at the present he is taking a break to work on a new series focused on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. You can get a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cresswell’s underwater shoots on his Instagram and in the short video below. (via My Modern Met)
Paper artist Yulia Brodskaya (previously) continues to produce elegant paper portraits, mixing geometric and organic forms through paper quilling to establish the details of each face. Over the last few years Brodskaya has been commissioned to create pieces for dozens of corporate clients from Starbucks to the New York Times, but still pauses to work on this portrait series that has slowly evolved over time. You can see new works and process photos on her Instagram and she’ll be speaking at the Reasons To: conference in Brighton this September.