portraits

Posts tagged
with portraits



Art

Subversive and Grandiose, Kajahl's Vivid Portraits Supplant Historical Narratives

November 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Silent Incantation II” (2020), oil on canvas over panel, 38 x 33 inches. All images © Kajahl, shared with permission

Through his meticulously rendered portraits, Santa Cruz-born artist Kajahl subverts the tradition of Blackamoor—a highly stylized European aesthetic that visualized people of color, particularly African men, in exoticized forms and subservient roles—by instead depicting Black subjects in valorized positions. Part of a series titled Royal Specter, the vivid paintings center alchemists, scholars, astronomers, and various intellectual figures within grandiose and luxurious settings.

While the artist’s works evoke the racist sculpture and decorative pieces of Blackamoor, they remove the historical context and alter the original narrative through anachronistic details. Each oil painting is layered with imagined elements, from the inaccuracies of the source material to Kajahl’s portrayals of fictional characters. “My fantasy is gazing back at their fantasy. I am their fantasy and they are mine… I am the specter of their imagination,” he says.

Kajahl’s work currently is on view at Chicago’s Monique Meloche Gallery through December 19. You can keep up with his historically subversive projects on Instagram.

 

“Alchemist” (2020), oil on canvas over panel, 36 x 48 inches

Left: “Huntress Eclipse” (2020), oil on canvas over panel, 60 x 48 inches. Right: “Tigress Guardian In Palmtree Oasis” (2020), oil on canvas over panel, 60 x 48 inches

“Star Gazer In Solitude” (2020), oil on canvas over panel, 72 x 54 inches

“Huntress In Oasis (Astride A Crocodile)” (2020), oil on canvas, 66 x 84 inches

Left: “Moment of Contemplation (Scholar)” ( 2020), oil on canvas over panel, 48 x 36 inches. Right: “Oracle (Holding Mirror)” (2020), oil on canvas over panel, 48 x 36 inches

“Silent Incantation I” (2020), oil on canvas over panel, 38 x 33 inches

“Oracle Snake In Globe” (2020), oil on linen over panel, 48 x 36 inches

 

 



Photography

Vivid Portraits by Photographer Tim Flach Frame the Unique Features of Vulnerable Birds

October 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

Peruvian Inca tern. All images © Tim Flach, shared with permission

From an Egyptian vulture with wispy feathers to a cockatoo with a vibrant fanned crest, Tim Flach’s expressive portraits convey the subtleties and bold features of birds around the globe. The London-based photographer (previously) focuses on endangered and vulnerable species throughout his work, which includes a range of animal portraiture. “I am also interested in the perceptual divide between sentient beings. There is a sense of awe and wonderment and there is always an uncertainty about what will reveal itself on set. I like to encourage thoughts about how we see each other,” he says in a statement.

Flach’s avian portraits, in particular, are shot to reveal human-like qualities, collapsing the differences between species. He compares the black-feathered head of the long-tailed broadbill to a fighter pilot’s helmet and the mustachioed Peruvian Inca tern to an iconic artist. “This for me, is the Salvador Dali of the bird world,” he writes on Instagram, noting that the longer mustache indicates a stronger immune system, making the bird more attractive as a mate.

To explore more of Flach’s striking photographs, check out the five books he’s published, in addition to his Instagram, where he shares his portraits and idiosyncratic details about the avian subjects.

 

Cockatoo

Vultrurine guineafowl

Toco toucan

Egyptian vulture

Long-tailed broadbill

Blue Throated Macaw

 

 



Art Illustration

Monochromatic Illustrations Personify the Power of the Sun and Moon through Fictional Deities

October 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Sara Golish, shared with permission

In her ethereal portraits, Toronto-based artist Sara Golish (previously) renders lavishly adorned goddesses and gods that exude a sense of power and wisdom. The charcoal, conté, and ink drawings are part of two ongoing collections, titled Sundust and Moondust, that imagine a series of fictional deities. Each figure belongs to one of the celestial bodies, a correlation that the artist visualizes through the paper’s color, with a warmer beige for the sun and a cool gray for the moon. “I chose to keep them monochromatic so they could be imagined in any skin tone to each individual viewer’s liking—an ease to envision themselves,” the artist says.

In recent months, Golish has been working on commissions and new bodies of work across mediums, which you can follow on Instagram. To add one of the mythical portraits to your collection, see what’s available in her shop.

 

 

 



Photography

Thick Technicolor Paint Oozes Over Subjects’ Faces in Mesmerizing New Portraits by Tim Tadder

October 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tim Tadder, shared with permission

First coated in black, the anonymous subjects in Tim Tadder’s portraits are cloaked with hypnotic swirls and thick drips of bright paint. To create the mesmerizing images, the Encinitas, California-based photographer and artist pours a mix of colors over his sitters and snaps a precisely-timed shot to capture each drop as it runs down their necks or splashes from their chins. “There’s something about the human head, and the bald head, and the brain, and that way that everything is here,” Tadder says as he gestures toward his own face. “The soul is here.”

During Tadder’s shoots, gloopy, viscous paint mixes in swirls and marbled-patterns on the subjects’ heads, which are covered to mask distinct locks of hair. A video (shown below) captures his process and shows models Kimberlee Howe and Mohamed Ouedraogo as they’re drenched in pools of color. As they’re photographed, the subjects often hold their breath and respond similarly to being submerged underwater due to the weight and density of the paint, Tadder says.

Explore more of the artist’s textured, multi-media works on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Chrome Faces Protrude from Drippy, Graffiti Backdrops in Hyperrealistic Paintings by Artist Kip Omolade

September 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Luxury Graffiti Kace I,” oil, spray paint and acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches. All images © Kip Omolade, shared with permission

Set on a graffitied backdrop, the chrome masks Kip Omolade (previously) paints appear to emerge from the canvas, jutting out from the vibrant display to confront the viewer. The Harlem-born artist layers dripping colors and typographic markings that contrast the smooth, gleaming faces protruding from the center for his new series Masks: Portraits of Times Square and Luxury Graffiti, which he completed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, he explains the history of the collection:

In New York City during the ’80s, my tag was ‘Kace’ and I would ‘get up’ on MTA subway car interiors, public walls in Brooklyn, and graffiti black books. Throughout the ’90s, I never stopped tagging. Even when I was painting from life, I was still tagging here and there in random spaces. Years later, I produced a real-life ‘Kace’—when my twin sons were born, I named them Kent and Kace. The ‘Kace’ tags in these paintings reference NYC subway ‘bombing’ of the ’80s, but mostly it’s about legacy. I want my work to represent our shared experiences of the past, present, and future.

Omolade’s process includes sculpting a resin mold of a chosen subject, which he then covers with chrome and uses as a reference for his hyperrealistic portraits. Many of the masks are reflective, revealing a hidden landscape. In Omolade’s self-portrait (shown below), an American flag in the shape of a bullseye marks his forehead, a nod to racial injustices in the United States.

To see more of Omolade’s works, check out his virtual solo show at Jonathan LeVine Projects through October 4 and head to his Instagram.

 

“Luxury Graffiti Self-Portrait (COVID-19),” oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

“Luxury Graffiti Kent I,” oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

“Luxury Graffiti Kent I,” oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

“American Love,” oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

“Red Stare,” oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

 

 



Photography

Elegant Portraits Highlight the Feathery Features of Leila Jeffreys' Perfectly Posed Birds

September 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Tweets.” All images © Leila Jeffreys, shared with permission

Those of us who’ve been party to an awkward family photoshoot or embarrassing school picture have reason to feel envious of the birds Leila Jeffreys (previously) photographs. From a pair of stoic budgerigars to a yellow trio named “The Tweets,” the avian subjects are captured in sophisticated and graceful poses that highlight their most stunning features, from the curvature of their beaks to the singular barbs of their feathers.

Jeffreys often teams up with conservationists, ornithologists, and sanctuaries to determine her subjects before bringing them to a studio. When they’re together, the Australian photographer focuses on their personalities, hoping to capture their idiosyncratic tendencies. The result is intimate and engaging photographs at a human-scale, a choice that strays from traditional portraiture by centering a different species.

Many of the elegant portraits here are included in Jeffreys’ recently released book, Des oiseaux, and you can explore a larger collection of photographs available for purchase on her site. Otherwise, keep up with her feathered frames on Instagram and watch this arresting footage of the birds in action.

 

“River and Cloudy”

“Rain and June”

“Celery”

“Coral”

“Candle”