In his Face of the City series, Toronto-based artist Dan Bergeron (aka Fauxreel) examines the identity of cities by juxtaposing the “abrasive charm found in the distressed surfaces of modern cities with the intimate familiarity of the prominent features of the human face”. Love the killer placement of that first paste-up. See many more portraits via his website. (via juxtapoz)
Estonia-based artist Heikki Leis is a master of graphite realism. The drawings above are from his Everyday Reflections series that depict seemingly random individuals as they peer into mirrors performing mundane grooming activities, all rendered in painstaking detail with nothing but a pencil. See more of his work over on Behance.
Artist Steven Spazuk began his career as many artists do, a gradual transition from sketching and drawing to watercolor and acrylic painting. In the 1980s he began using an airbrush and found himself fascinated by the smooth gradients created by the finely sprayed paint. Then, in 2001 an idea struck: what would happen if he exposed a canvas to fire and controlled the imprint of soot left on the surface? Spazuk has hardly left the medium since. Though he creates many smaller pieces that look like smokey gesture drawings, I really enjoy his wall-sized fragmentation paintings made from hundreds of smaller works, each the result of a canvas exposed to fire and then gently etched to reveal finers details. Watch the video above to see how he does it.
These are several of my favorite pieces from a wonderful new series of broken face portraits by Tokyo-based illustrator and collage artist Takahiro Kimura. From his artist statement:
If I hold up the emotion of human being, which is so complicated and elusive, as theme of my work, the work will be unable to catch up with the emotion and the work will be undistinguished. Therefore, in a state of selfless, I command not feeling but solely my aesthetic sense and attempt to create my work. And then if you feel some complicated emotions of human beings are expressed out of my work [faces], it might be projections of what you have inside. The broken faces might be mirrors to reflect your emotions.
Using thin strips of dissected currency from around the world, Chinese creative firm Senseteam (website currently down) has composed a series of portraits for a book and poster series entitled Big Business 3 meant to “reflect the subtle relationships and influences across money, desire, society, nations, and human beings.” The project won a gold award at the Design for Asia Award 2011 and you can see much more over on designboom.
Photographer Jonathan Rosser shoots wonderfully gritty portraits that at times appear like stills from centuries-old silent films, and yet at other times so real and life-like, it’s as if the individuals are peering at you from the other side of your monitor. Rosser has only been shooting for three years and finds his subjects in cities around the U.S. from the streets of Skid Row in L.A. to New York, Baltimore and his home in Washington D.C. The portraits are even more striking when shown against black, so I’ve taken the liberty to link the selections above to lightboxes. Thank you Jonathan for sharing your work with Colossal.
Made in China is a recent piece by artist Joe Black depicting a portrait of Chinese soldier by photographer Robert Capa that appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine in 1938. Black glued over 5,500 multi-colored toy soldiers to a vertical surface to achieve the pointillistic effect. The artwork was on display last October at the Moniker Art Fair in London. (images via piers mason, annar_50, and the artist)