portraits

Posts tagged
with portraits



Photography

Black Women Photographers Is a Global Community at the Forefront of a Changing Industry

August 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

Esther Sweeney. All images courtesy of Black Women Photographers, shared with permission

In June of 2020, Polly Irungu launched Black Women Photographers with about 100 members and the hope that more Black women would receive commissions and greater recognition for their work. “I didn’t really know that photography was a space for me to be in, as I didn’t see myself in the world of photography or really any art spaces for that reason,” Irungu said about the impetus for the organization in a recent interview. “I think with the work that I’ve been doing, it’s obviously shattering that. It’s putting us, as Black women, to the forefront, as we have been shut out of the industry for so long.”

Just two years later, the organization has grown exponentially, now touting a global membership of more than 1,200 from 50 plus countries. It offers a directory geared toward curators, editors, and brands looking to hire, in addition to programming, educational opportunities, awards, and portfolio reviews. In 2021, it also established an annual $50,000 grant fund in partnership with Nikon, furthering its mission by providing direct support to those in the community.

Irungu—who was also just named photo editor for the Office of the VP to the Biden-Harris Administration—hopes to expand the original goals of the organization as it enters its third year and continue to champion Black women in the industry. She explains:

I just want to continue building this community, celebrating these works in the community, helping nurture these photographers and get them to the next level, whatever that next level looks like for them. But also to continue to take up space in this industry, letting people know what “Yes, we’re here,” and we photograph portraits, we photograph sports, music, fine art, and we photograph anything that you can think of, like architecture, real estate, outdoors, landscape, film, all of that is within this community.

In honor of World Photography Day (which is today!) and its second anniversary, Black Women Photographers is hosting a print sale. We’ve gathered some of our favorite images from the collection here, but visit Instagram for a deeper dive into the archive.

 

Clara Watt

DeLovie Kwagala

Kate Sterlin

Sherie Margaret Ngigi

DeLovie Kwagala

Sandy Adams

 

 



Art Illustration

Grainy Colored Pencil Portraits by Uli Knörzer Emphasize a Subject’s Distinct Demeanor

August 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Uli Knörzer, shared with permission

Berlin-based artist Uli Knörzer (previously) highlights the signature grainy texture of colored pencils in his faithful portraiture. Whether for personal projects or commissions from fashion labels and publications—many of the pieces shown here are part of a recent project for Tommy Hilfiger—the richly illustrated works hone in on the emotions of the subject. By positioning the figures against monochromatic backdrops devoid of setting, he accentuates the minute details of their facial expressions and body language.

If you’re in London, stop by Trinity Buoy Wharf to see some of Knörzer’s portraits in the group show for this year’s Drawing Prize, which opens on September 28. Otherwise, follow him on Instagram to keep up with his latest pieces.

 

 

 



Photography

Double-Exposure Photos by Christoffer Relander Superimpose Everyday Scenes onto Human Silhouettes

August 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Christoffer Relander, shared with permission

Spontaneity, honesty, and a desire for experimentation are at the heart of an ongoing project by  Christoffer Relander, whose dreamy compositions masterfully blend portraiture and nature. 365 Days of Double Exposure is Relander’s practice of documenting life around him, whether that be the mundane scenes inside his home or the landscapes and people he encounters. Like other daily projects in a similar vein, the goal is to create no matter the circumstances, and Relander carries a pocket-sized Ricoh GRIII with him to capture impromptu moments throughout the day.

The Finnish photographer (previously) recently released the first month’s collection on Behance—prints are available through his site—many of which layer silhouettes of children with foliage. Taken in black-and-white, the images delicately balance the human and natural elements, allowing facial details to peek through a garden of daisies or superimposing a deserted roadway into a profile so that it appears to lead into the figure.

Some of Relander’s compositions are included in a group exhibition through August 28 at the Museum of New Art in Pärnu, Estonia, and if you’re in New York City, you can see more of his work at Muriel Guepin.

 

 

 



Art

Interview: Swoon Speaks to Finding Compassion Through the Act of Looking and Unearthing Her Own Vulnerability

August 1, 2022

Paulette Beete

“Seven Contemplations” (2020 to 2021) at Albright-Knox Northland. All images © Swoon, shared with permission

In some ways, Caledonia Curry’s work as a public artist has come full circle, an evolution she discusses in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. Curry debuted as a New York City street artist known as Swoon right around the turn of the last century, her hand-worked portraits making striking, albeit illegal, statements on old walls. Today, she harnesses that same energy into intricate—and intimate—installations set in museums and galleries.

When I look at a face for days, when I take a portrait of somebody on the street, and then I stare at that face for days and days, there’s this part of my brain that’s like, “This human is utterly perfect. I’ve never seen anything more noble and beautiful than this person.” And then I think, “You think that every time.” That’s because it’s true.

Swoon spoke with Colossal contributor Paulette Beete about how the act of looking is at the center of her practice, why she’s started to address her own trauma in addition to that experienced by others, and why her body of work to date is like a lifesaving yarn, a map of both where she’s been, where she’s going, and everything she’s learned along the way.

 

“Yaya,” Hong Kong

 

 



Art

Movement and Instinct Inform Taquen’s Murals of Migrating Birds and Human Touch

July 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Magpies and swifts.” All images © Taquen, shared with permission

Thin, structural lines delineate a magpie wing and contour a child’s nose or cheekbone in Taquen’s murals. Working with a color palette of pastels and neutral tones, the Spanish artist (previously) paints large-scale portraits, fragments of limbs, and birds, often leaving the composition’s skeletal forms visible. “The supports are just as important as the work itself,” he tells Colossal. “I look for camouflage, minimalism, and mixture. In the end, it is also a metaphorical form of the footprint that I believe we should leave in the places we pass through.”

Many of Taquen’s works consider the relationship between species through the lens of movement and impulse, focusing on gesture, touch, and instinctive acts. Birds mid-flight embody the tie between freedom and migration, while bare feet lounging in the grass or a hand grasping a flower channel a desire for physical contact. “I think we are very disconnected, living in parallel with nature, and it is a mistake. We must share it, experience it, live it, and thus we will be able to understand and respect it,” he says.

In the coming months, the artist will be working on murals in Belgium, Portugal, Ireland, France, and Spain, in addition to a conceptual project centered on paths and walking. You can follow those on Instagram.

 

Briançon, France

Detail of mural in Briançon, France

“Discover and learn,” Port of Sagunto, Valencia

Grenoble

Camprovin

“Hold the oak, be a tree for the trees,” Mostar

“Apology for the wild,” Stockholm, Sweden

Madrid. Photo by Gustavo Bulnes

 

 



Art

Energetic Markings in Charcoal Delineate Nelson Makamo’s Candid Portraits of Childhood Joy

July 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal, acrylic and pastel on paper, 116.3 x 87.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed. All images courtesy of Rise Art, shared with permission

On view at Rise Art is a new body of work from South African artist Nelson Makamo, who continues his charismatic portraits rendered in lively, gestural lines of charcoal. Whether on paper or canvas, the mixed-media pieces depict children and teens, and the artist’s quick, sometimes chaotic markings echo the unfiltered immediacy of the sitters’ cheerful and contemplative emotions—prior to each portrait, he spends time learning about his subjects’ lives, their joys, and worries, a practice he finds essential for capturing such candid, honest expressions.

Makamo’s latest pieces diverge slightly from his previous works by exploring themes of togetherness. Whereas he often focuses on fragmented portrayals of solitary figures, the artist hones in on community in this new body of work, painting two children grasping hands or in the case of “Mission Possible,” a group of friends huddled in a tight cluster.

If you’re in London, head to Rise Art to see Makamo’s solo show before August 25. Otherwise, find more of his works and news about upcoming exhibitions on Instagram.

 

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and pastel on paper, 116.3 x 87.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Face Off II” (2022), oil, acrylic and pastel on paper, 89.7 x 71.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and pastel on paper, 89.7 x 71.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and pastel on paper, 116.3 x 87.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and acrylic on canvas, 102.9 x 102.9 x 8.8 centimeters framed

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and acrylic on paper, 78.2 x 63.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Mission Possible” (2022), charcoal and acrylic on paper, 116.3 x 87.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed