faces

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Art Craft

Watercolor Paper Transforms into Suggestive Facial Sculptures by Artist Polly Verity

March 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Polly Verity, shared with permission

Polly Verity’s most recent paper sculptures test viewers’ sense of pareidolia. The dexterous artist employs single sheets of watercolor paper for her minimalist projects that morph into solitary faces and kissing figures through a series of bends and twists.

Verity tells Colossal that she’s been crafting repeating geometric patterns for about 15 years, but that it wasn’t until recently that she decided to move beyond crisp folds and clean lines. “When I hit the curved folds that’s when my brain popped. Seemingly impossible things could happen to a sheet of paper,” she writes. “My years of observing and investigating how curve folds behave has given me a feel for bringing the curves into the figurative realm.” The result is a suggestive series of facial profiles sometimes sucking on a straw or smoking a cigarette.

I tried to fold along the profile of a face, and I realized that I could tweak the paper on either side just very slightly and ease curves out to give volume and form. When I tried the same technique in watercolour paper, I suddenly had micro-control over the resulting curved forms and they became soft and sensual. So each face goes on to inform the next and they have become a sort of series.

Keep up with Verity’s paper creations on Instagram and check out which alluring pieces you can add to your own collection in her shop.

 

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Craft

Faces Emerge from Minimalist Ceramics by Fan Yanting to Consider Emotional Depth

February 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Fan Yanting

Just like a recent study reporting that facial expressions are more complex than we think, Fan Yanting wants to delve into the sentiment behind the scowl or smirk on a stranger’s face. The Taiwanese artist shapes small vessels and dinnerware in neutral tones that don a series of emotions, from an unsmiling vase to a set of defensive mugs. Only starting to create ceramics during the last year, Fan hand-sculpts each set of eyes, nose, and mouth without deciding which emotion he’s trying to capture beforehand. “I empty my mind when I’m sculpting the human faces. I might plan the pottery shape and maybe where I’d like to position the face, but I don’t start with specific character designs in mind,” the artist tells Neocha.

Fan’s focus on expressions derives from how he sees human relationships, saying people often respond to those around them by projecting their own understandings of what a facial expression signifies. “Maybe a face will remind someone of an old friend, a family member, or the coffee shop owner down the street. By leading viewers to experience everyday items that have different faces, I hope to explore this phenomenon in my work,” the artist says. To see which emotion pops up next, head to Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 



Art

Ceramic Head Sculptures by En Iwamura Explore Philosophies of Movement and Space

December 29, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images © En Iwamura

Japanese artist En Iwamura creates large ceramic sculptures of heads with minimalist facial features. Holes and slits reference eyes and mouths on the oddly-shaped forms, while uniform grooves traverse the clay surfaces in complex patterns. With site-responsive installations, the artist introduces viewers to the Japanese philosophy of Ma⁠—the relationship between viewers, objects, and negative space⁠—and gives them the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

Born in Kyoto to artist parents, Iwamura studied at Kanazawa College of Craft and Art where he earned MFA and BFA in Crafts/Ceramics. In 2013, he traveled to the United States to study at Clemson University and was later invited to give artist talks and lead workshops in New Hampshire and Montana. Through lectures, his artistic practice, and exhibitions with New York-based Ross + Kramer Gallery, Iwamura has explored ways of altering audience experiences while introducing them to the uniquely Japanese concept of Ma. “People constantly read and measure different Ma between themselves,” the artist said in a statement, “and finding the proper or comfortable Ma between people or places can provide a specific relationship at a given moment.”

Watch a video of Iwamura’s texturing technique here and follow the artist on Instagram to see more expressive characters in various stages of the creation process.

 

 



Animation

Geometric Volumes and Humanoid Figures Shape-Shift in a New Animation by Guldies

December 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Malleable sculptures formed from plasticine topple, bounce, and shape-shift between geometric volumes and humanoid figures in UTOPIA, a new stop motion animation. The minimalist short film is set on a plain aqua-toned background with a restricted clay color palette of white, pink, orange, and burgundy. UTOPIA’s tightly controlled aesthetic centers the viewer’s attention on the fast-moving shapes as they transform and interact with each other. The short was created by Alexander Unger, a Swedish animator who goes by Guldies (previously). Watch more animations from Unger on his YouTube channel and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Chrome Face Masks and Hyperrealistic Oil Portraits by Kip Omolade

August 17, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn X, Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. All images via Kip Omolade

Brooklyn-based artist Kip Omolade (previously) uses molding, casting, and painting techniques to create detailed masks and large-scale hyperrealistic portraits. Contrasted against vibrant backgrounds, each chrome face appears to rise from the canvas to meet the viewer. Continuing his Diovadiova Chrome series, Omolade’s recent work explores form, connections, and the basics of what makes us human.

Since we last featured his work in 2017, Kip Omolade’s portraits have evolved to include more than one subject. “In my paintings, I previously presented each mask as a singular portrait,” he told Colossal. “In my current work, the faces are now interacting with each other. They are arranged together on large canvases measuring 13-15 feet long. The masks have become mythological characters having conversations about humanity. I see them as deities pondering age old questions about birth, life, death, identity and love.”

He has also included his three children in his work for the first time. Their portraits, titled Diovadiova Chrome Triumph after a Wu-Tang song, represent “life’s ability to survive despite environmental and societal hardships. Reflections of Times Square New York City are captured within their portraits. In a seemingly eternal sleep, they are depicted with their eyes closed…still innocent to the world.”

Kip Omolade is opening a pop-up art show in New York City on September 9. Titled The Diovadiova – Avoid a Void, the show will be open to the public at 520 West 23rd Street. For more upcoming event news and progress shots of his work, give the artist a follow on Instagram.

Diovadiova Chrome Triumph work in progress

Diovadiova Chrome Triumph work in progress

Diovadiova Chrome Kip Triptych III detail, Oil on canvas, 74 x 36 in

Diovadiova Chrome Diana IV, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in

Diovadiova Chrome Trinity, Oil on canvas, 120 x 186 in

Diovadiova Chrome Tribunal work in progress

Diovadiova Chrome Tribunal, Oil on canvas, 120.5 x 156.5 in

Diovadiova Chrome Joyce IV detail, Oil on canvas, 72 x 34 in

Diovadiova Chrome Kip Triptych I detail, Oil on canvas, 74 x 36 in

Profiled in the video below by filmmaker Jesse Brass (previously), Omolade speaks about immortality, form, universal beauty, and what it means to be a diva.

 

 



Illustration Photography

Playful Doodles by Shira Barzilay Add Stylized Dimension to Classic Portraits

August 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Tel Aviv-based illustrator Shira Barzilay creates expressive line drawings on top of editorial style portraits to provide a more exaggerated expression for the subject, or produce an entirely new face on the back of their head. The digital illustrations are created via iPad, and range from simple lines to filled in multi-color shapes that give the pieces an almost cubist appearance. You can see more of her photographic illustrations, in addition to recent clothing and handbag collaborations, on her Instagram. If you enjoy Barzilay’s itinerant illustrations, also take a look at Shantell Martin’s work.

 

 



Art

Dream Worlds Imagined in Contorted Clay Portraits by Johnson Tsang

February 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Remembrance”

Johnson Tsang (previously) continues to create spectacularly emotive ceramic sculptures of the human face. The Hong Kong-based artist’s latest series, Lucid Dream II, features surreal contortions that squish, wring, melt, and stretch. Titles like “Remembrance,” “Extrication,” and “Unveiled” suggest an exploration of the liminal space between the conscious and subconscious, in addition to the self and other. Tsang uses plain, unglazed clay, eschewing typical lifelike details such as color, hair, and apparel, to focus the viewer’s attention on the universally-relatable expressions of each of his imagined subjects. You can see more of the sculptor’s completed and in-progress work on Instagram and Facebook.

“Here and There”

“Here and There” detail

“Work in Progress”

“Under the Skin”

“Love in Progress”

“Falling in Love”

“Unveiled”

“Lawful Custody”

“Extrication”

 

 

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