portraits

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Design History Illustration

Who’s She: A Laser-Cut Guessing Game That Celebrates Accomplished Women Throughout History

December 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Who’s She is a new guessing game by Polish designer Zuzia Kozerska (previously) which celebrates the achievements of famous women across the world. The laser-cut wooden board flips up to reveal the faces of 28 painters, athletes, scientists, and astronauts, in a similar style the classic Guess Who? game did from the late 1970s. Instead of posing superficial questions such as “does your character have glasses?” the game asks players to inquire about achievements and contributions like “did she win a Nobel Prize?”.

Faces range from the early 20th-century painter Frida Kahlo to contemporary athlete Serena Williams, all illustrated in watercolor portraits by artist Daria Gołąb. The game is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. You can follow the evolution of the project on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Illustration

Illustrations by Simon Prades Entangle Human Emotions with the Natural World

November 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Simon Prades (previously) uses muted color palettes to convey feelings of introspection, inquisitiveness, and even rage in his editorial illustrations. His work often features human portraits interwoven with natural elements such as coiling snakes and growing plants which combine detailed realism with abstracted and surreal environments. The German-Spanish artist and designer currently lives and works in Saarbrücken, Germany, and is regularly commissioned by a wide variety of publications—from Rolling Stone to Outside Magazine. You can see more from the artist on his website, where he sells select artworks as prints, and on Behance.

 

 



Photography

A New Book Reveals a Colorful Side to Vivian Maier’s Renowned Street Photography

November 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Nanny and self-taught photographer Vivian Maier (1926–2009) (previously here and here) kept nearly 150,000 photographic images, including street photography and self-portraits, hidden from the world until an estate sale in 2007 revealed a large bulk of her secretive hobby. Since 2010 her photographs have been widely exhibited in galleries and museums across the world, and were the subject of the 2013 documentary Finding Vivian Maier, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Although her mostly Chicago and New York-based photographs have become infamous in the decade since their discovery, her color images have been less prevalent due to the technical challenges involved in their development and recovery. This month the largest monograph of her full-color photographs was published by Harper Collins, which includes images pulled from the roughly 40,000 Ektachrome color slides spanning the last 30 years of her life. Vivian Maier: The Color Work explores over 150 of her colorful images with details that have been gathered about her story and photographic process. The book also features a forward by photographer Joel Meyerowitz and text by Colin Westerbeck, a former curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Maier was a self-invented polymath of a photographer,” writes Westerbeck in the book. “The one advantage Maier gained from keeping her photography to herself was an exemption from contradiction and condescension. She didn’t have to worry about either the orthodoxy or the approval of her peers.”

Vivian Maier: The Color Work was created in partnership with Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City, who will be presenting an exhibition of the same title opening November 14, 2018 and running through January 5, 2019. Several of the color photographs included in the exhibition will be presented for the first time. You can see more of Maier’s black and white and color photography on this portfolio site dedicated to her collection, and you can purchase a copy of the new book on Amazon. (via Chicago Magazine)

Self-portrait, Chicago, February 1976. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, February 1976. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, May 1958. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, May 1958. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

New York City, 1959. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

New York City, 1959. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, 1960. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, 1960. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicago, 1962. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicago, 1962. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicagoland, October 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicagoland, October 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicagoland, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicagoland, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, January 1979. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, January 1979. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

From Vivian Maier: The Color Work, by Colin Westerbeck. Copyright © 2018. Images reproduced here with permission from Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

From Vivian Maier: The Color Work, by Colin Westerbeck. Copyright © 2018. Images reproduced here with permission from Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

 

 



Art Food

Pixelated Glitches Interrupt Painted Portraits of Victorian Families, Still Lifes, and Birds

November 13, 2018

Anna Marks

The Milan-based painter Aldo Sergio uses paint to warp perception, creating portraits and still life paintings which blur the boundary between the digital and the physical, and the traditional and the contemporary. In one of his paintings, three men in clerical clothing look inquisitively at a pixelated bunch of bananas, and in another parts of a Victorian family, from their faces to conventional garments, are pixelated in rectangular lines. In a third piece a couple poses before a selection of indoor houseplants while a hen with a blurred leg stands next to their feet.

Sergio uses traditional painting methods to capture portraits of Victorian families, bowls of fruit, and birds, and then distorts these objects by covering them in small ‘glitches.’ Sergio builds tensions between objects, people and space, and his carefully painted glitch-like malfunctions to give his artworks an unusual movement, making a stark contrast to the stillness and seriousness of traditional paintings.

His solo exhibition at Galleria Patricia Armocida in Milan runs until the 30th of November, 2018. You can see more of his pixelated paintings on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Design Photography

Recycled Packing Materials Sculpted Into Elaborate Renaissance Costumes by Suzanne Jongmans

November 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Interdisciplinary artist Suzanne Jongmans uses her skills as a sculptor and costume designer to create recycled garments from packing materials such as Styrofoam, plastic sheets, and segments of thick bubble wrap. The costumes take the form of elaborate bonnets and high collared dresses which are then photographed on subjects in poses reminiscent of portrait styles from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Specifically the Dutch artist references paintings created by artists such as Rembrandt, Holbein the Younger, and Rogier van der Weyden in her styled photographs.

Jongmans draws connections between contemporary disposable materials and the aesthetics of fine silks or lace, presenting creative takes on centuries-old clothing. “The idea of making something out of nothing changes our look on reality,” she explains. “…Most people throw that [foam] away. I make clothing out of it; foam is my textile.” You can see more of her portraits and garments sculpted from recycled materials on her website and Facebook.

 

 



Art

Thick Strokes of Paint Create Featureless Portraits in Abstracted Paintings by Joseph Lee

October 31, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Los Angeles-based artist and actor Joseph Lee paints thickly layered portraits that mask the details and expressions of his subjects’ faces. His abstracted profiles sometimes reveal a subtle hint of an eye, nose, or ear between multi-colored brushstrokes, and are set against matte backgrounds to make each painting pop. Although the facial expressions are often hidden, the self-taught artist intends to bring emotions to each face through the turn of the head or the line of a jaw. You can see more of his impasto portraits on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Hyperrealistic Drawings by Arinze Stanley Capture Surreal Moments and Powerful Emotions

October 25, 2018

Andrew LaSane

Black Noise, 2018. Arinze Stanley

Self-taught Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley (previously) is a wizard when it comes to putting charcoal and graphite to paper. The artist creates hyperrealistic portraits at a scale just larger than life, spending hundreds of hours detailing his subjects’ skin, hair, and sweat so that the works are nearly indistinguishable from black and white photographs. The artist recently opened a solo exhibition of new drawings at Jonathan LeVine Projects in New Jersey titled Mirrors, which seeks to pull viewers in so that they can connect with and see themselves in the subjects.

From new takes on familiar works like in Negro Mona Lisa (below), to drawings with more surreal elements like Black Noise (above), the emotion that Stanley is able to depict in the faces and gestures is compelling even from a distance. Getting up close to one of his pieces adds to its weight, as the viewer’s brain tries to reconcile the amount of labor that went into each work.

In an artist statement on his website, Stanley explains that his art is “born out of the zeal for perfection both in skill, expression and devotion to create positive changes in the world.” In a press release for his current exhibition he tells Jonathan LeVine Projects that the process of drawing is “like energy transfer,” and that by transferring his energy through graphite, each blank piece of paper becomes art. Mirrors is on view through November 11 at the gallery’s space at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, New Jersey. You can see more of his portraits on Instagram.

Negro Mona Lisa, 2018. Arinze Stanley

Faustina, 2018. Arinze Stanley

A Lady in Black, 2017. Arinze Stanley

Losing Dream, 2017. Arinze Stanley

Mindless, 2018. Arinze Stanley

Mirror 000, 2018. Arinze Stanley

Painful Conversations, 2018. Arinze Stanley