Tag Archives: portraits


New Quilled Paper Portraits That Highlight the Beauty of Old Age by Yulia Brodskaya 


“Jade” (2016), all images via Yulia Brodskaya

Utilizing vibrantly colored paper, artist and illustrator Yulia Brodskaya (previously here and here), creates unique three-dimensional portraits that reflect the beauty found in old age. Each work contains a palette of colors that remain at the center of her focus, recently concentrating on precious jewel tones that also serve as the title for each portrait. Previously Brodskaya had referred to these quilled pieces as drawings, but the more expressionistic her style becomes, the more her work reflects a painterly approach.

“I used to say that I was drawing with paper, but I believe with this technique I’ve found a way to paint with paper,” said Brodskaya to Colossal. “I mix strips of paper as I would mix paints on a palette. These artworks are all about color and the unique, tactile feel that paper strips add to it. The portraits resemble oil and acrylic painting (especially from a distance), but with a textured paper twist.”

You can find more images of Brodskaya’s quilled paper paintings on her blog and Facebook, and see a step-by-step demonstration of her process in the video below.


“Jade” (2016)


“Topaz” (2016)


“Topaz” (2016)


“Amethyst” (2016)


“Amethyst” (2016)


“Amethyst” (2016)


Photographic Images That Weave Moments in Time by Jason Chen 


Detail of “K,” hand-woven archival inkjet print, 22.75in x 28.75, all images via Paradigm Gallery + Studio, Philadelphia

Moving beyond traditionally static methods of portraiture, Jason Chen creates movement through the weaving of multiple images into one. Chen’s works use separate images of the same subject to explore mutation and time, offering a more fluid peek into his subject’s emotional state. When glanced at from afar the images appear quite singular, but when zoomed in the disparate details of the images stand out—multiple eyes occupying the same face like seen in Chen’s haunting G-iii.

This is a relatively new method for the Philadelphia-based photographer who had been previously focused on dry plate tintypes. Chen is the co-founder of Paradigm Gallery + Studio where he is currently included in the group exhibition “Portrait”  through June 18th. (via Hi Fructose)


“K,” hand-woven archival inkjet print, 22.75in x 28.75


“Ian” (2016), archival pigment print, hand cut and woven, 24”h x 36”w


“Jessica” (2016), archival pigment print, hand cut and woven, 24”h x 36” w


Detail of “Jessica” (2016), archival pigment print, hand cut and woven, 24”h x 36” w


“C,” hand-woven archival inkjet print, 9in x 11in


“G-iii,” hand-woven archival inkjet print, 22.75in x 28.75


Detail of “G-iii,” hand-woven archival inkjet print, 22.75in x 28.75


“G-ii,” hand-woven archival inkjet print, 20.5in x 20.5in


New Ballpoint Pen Illustrations on Vintage Envelopes and Maps by Mark Powell 


It’s been a couple of years since we last checked in on Mark Powell (previously here and here), who produces ballpoint pen portraits and illustrations of birds and people on vintage envelopes. Recently Powell has expanded his practice to include old maps as another form of canvas, drawing detailed faces and bodies that are given texture by the haphazard roads and regions that comprise the United States or Paris.

Powell chooses to draw on paper with historical marks in order to imbue his works with a greater story, adding a deeper background to his subjects. “They compliment each other and I hope leads the viewer to wonder, and maybe create, a history for the two,” said Powell. “I rarely connect the portrait and ‘canvas’ as they are both strangers to me.”

Powell’s illustrations can take between a couple of hours and an entire month depending on the size of the surface and the detail given to his subjects. His upcoming exhibition, “Anthropology,” will open March 3 and run through April 10, 2016 at Hang-Up Gallery in London. You can see more of Powell’s drawings on his Facebook.








New Portraits of Fashionably Dressed Wildlife and Floral Bouquets by Miguel Vallinas 


In his long-running portrait series Second Skins, artist Miguel Vallinas (previously) uses photographic portraits of wildlife as a starting point to construct fictional wardrobes that he imagines each animal might wear if it were dressed as a human. Vallinas has an uncanny ability to select the perfect colors and textures for each outfit he photographs, bestowing the animals with a clear sense of character and an unusual authenticity.

On the surface, Second Skins is a humorous series of portraits guaranteed for a smile, but dig a bit deeper and Vallinas suggests the images reveal a more about human nature than the animal kingdom. Specifically, how we perceive people based on appearance and how we create narratives in our mind based wholly on what we see. Vallinas says he is also examining elements of self-perception, specifically “what we believe we are, what others think we are, what we really are, and what we would like to be.”

For his latest body of work titled Roots, Vallinas again explores identity through similarly dressed boquets of flowers or plants matched with remarkably fitting attire. You can see much more on his website.











Portraits of Chinese Rockstars Imagined as Monumental Temples 


Chinese artist DU Kun has long harbored a reverence for music and rockstars. A musician himself, the Beijing-based painter is awed by the creation of music, aspects of fame, and the intangible aura of being a revered rockstar, something he tries to capture is these temple-like portraits of famous Chinese recording artists titled “Revels of the Rock Gods”.

Each oil painting depicts the face of a musician as if it were a temple built in devotion to a god and borrows elements from Buddhist and Confucian architecture. Eyes are depicted as windows, tree branches or waterfalls as flowing hair, and the surface of skin as ornate wood facades gilded with gold.

Kun is currently exhibiting the “Revels of the Rock Gods” series as part of his first solo show in Japan at Mizuma Art Gallery in Tokyo through February 13, 2016. You can explore close-up details plus an archive of Kun’s work on his website. (via Hi-Fructose)











NYPL Shares Huge Archive of 180,000 High-Res Public Domain Images Online, Announces ‘Remix Residency’ 

At a small American Legion carnival near Bellows Falls, Vermont. Photo by Jack Delano, 1941.

At a small American Legion carnival near Bellows Falls, Vermont. Photo by Jack Delano, 1941.

The New York Public Library just released high-resolution scans of 180,000 public domain images including photographs, etchings, watercolors, sheet music, maps, stereoscopic views, and other images dating back as far as the 11th century. From their press release:

Did you know that more than 180,000 of the items in our Digital Collections are in the public domain? That means everyone has the freedom to enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways. The Library now makes it possible to download such items in the highest resolution available directly from the Digital Collections website. No permission required. No restrictions on use.

Not only is the NYPL encouraging people to use these public domain images in their personal endeavors without restriction, they’ve also announced the NYPL Labs Remix Residency for “artists, information designers, software developers, data scientists, and journalists.” Selected individuals will have the opportunity to work on-site at the NYPL as part of a paid residency to create work from this near endless resource of imagery. If that sounds interesting to you—which I know it does—you can apply online here.

They’ve also built a fantastic visual search tool that allows you to sort images by genre, date, and even color. Go make something amazing people! (via Kottke)

Soleil couchant. Watercolor, 1875. Félix Bracquemond.

Soleil couchant. Watercolor, 1875. Félix Bracquemond.

Daughter of Mr. Buck Grant, Negro preacher near Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. Photo by Jack Delano, 1941.

Daughter of Mr. Buck Grant, preacher near Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. Photo by Jack Delano, 1941.

Seventh Avenue looking south from 35th Street, Manhattan. 1935.

Seventh Avenue looking south from 35th Street, Manhattan. 1935.




Engraving of Miss O’Neill in the character of Belvidera in the stage production Venice Preserved, Act 3, Scene 1. Engraving. 1814.

Butterfly engravings, 1833 - 1830. Dumont d'Urville, Jules-Sébastien-César.

Butterfly engravings, 1833 – 1830. Dumont d’Urville, Jules-Sébastien-César.

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