portraits

Posts tagged
with portraits



Craft

Varied Patches of Color and Textured Stitches Delineate Expressive Embroidered Portraits

March 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Brenda Risquez, shared with permission

Brenda Risquez is deliberate in her use of texture, density, and color in her boldly embroidered portraits inspired by friends and pop culture icons. Varying patches of long, single-stitch rows and rounded tufts map onto the subjects’ faces, many of which display the textile artist’s affinity for pronounced, single-hued cheeks. Her hoop-bound portraits are expressive and dotted with playful elements, like a jaw outlined in pink or highlights stitched in bright, geometric shapes.

Textiles have played an outsized role in Risquez’s creative trajectory—she holds degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Granada and Textile Art from the School of Art of Granada—although she only started embroidering in the last five years. Currently, she teaches at Workshop Granada and is exploring a variety of techniques involving fabric painting and pattern design. Find shots of works-in-progress, along with information on commissions and other opportunities to buy her dynamic pieces, on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Architecture and Bold Geometry Fragment Cubist Portraits by Patrick Akpojotor

March 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

“FELA” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. All images © Patrick Akpojotor, shared with permission

In his architectural portraits, Patrick Akpojotor visualizes the exchange between humans and their built environments, whether real or imagined. The artist’s spatial body of work, which explicitly contemplates the relationship between interiority and exteriority, is founded in his childhood in Lagos, a city checkered with traditional, colonial, and contemporary structures where he still lives today. “I saw how a former residential area became a commercial one changing how people interacted with that community,” he says.

Rendered in bold blocks of acrylic, Akpojotor’s paintings encourage introspection as they consider how identities inform the design of single buildings and infrastructure, which in turn shape the people who occupy those spaces. The anthropomorphic structures evoke cubist geometry and illusion, fracturing the body with a staircase, brick chimney, or entire house, and some works shown here, including both “In Memory of the Living” pieces, are self-portraits.

Beyond his surroundings in Nigeria, Akpojotor derives inspiration from ancient African sculptures and masks, particularly “the way the forms are intentionally distorted to pass messages and symbols of their (beliefs),” he shares. “In my work, the way object(s) are placed does not matter. What is important is that the object(s) are represented, and the message is passed.”

Find a collection of Akpojotor’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures on his site, in addition to studio shots and glimpses at works-in-progress on Instagram. (via Juxtapoz)

 

“In Memory of the Living I” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

Left: “In my Image” (2020), acrylic on canvas, 96 x 63 inches. Right: “Oga Boss” (2020), acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

“Girl with Red Ribbon” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

Left: “Witness to the times” (2020), acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Right: “Time” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

“In Memory of the Living II” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

 

 



Art

Mixed-Media Portraits by Nelson Makamo Reflect Childhood Innocence and Wonder

February 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Nelson Makamo, shared with permission

Nelson Makamo (previously) is known for his oversized, lively portraits of the children and teens he meets around Johannesburg. Using a distinct blend of acrylic, watercolors, monotypes, silkscreen, and oil paint, the South African artist often delineates their silhouettes with a thick line of charcoal before adding colorful details to their clothing and faces. The resulting works are simultaneously earnest and imbued with a sense of wonder.

Whether posed or engaged in rowdy activities, many of the subjects sport bright, round glasses, emphasizing Makamo’s focus on viewing the world through the lens of childhood. His subjects “embody the peace and harmony we all strive for in life, the search for eternal joy lies in the child within us all. We are just so consumed with worldly things that we forget the simplicity of life through a child’s perspective,” he says in a statement.

Makamo recently closed a solo exhibition at Botho Project Space this January, and you can find more of his dynamic pieces on Artsy and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Pockets of Landscapes and Still Lifes Adorn Subjects in Lavish Portraits by Aniela Sobieski

February 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

Oil on panel, 8 x 10 inches. All images © Aniela Sobieski, shared with permission

Aniela Sobieski is intrigued by “the human impulse to self-decorate,” a fascination that permeates every aspect of her portraiture. Evoking both baroque paintings and contemporary fashions, Sobieski adorns women and the occasional dog with elaborate makeup and sculptural accessories placed conspicuously to mask the subject’s features. She seamlessly maps classic still lifes and sparse landscapes directly onto the sitter’s face, often highlighting the natural shape of the eye and coating the figure’s lips in bold red.

Apparent within Sobieski’s oil paintings is a symbiotic relationship between the subject and their lavish accessories: while a pair of daisies or bucolic scene serve as expressions of identity and emotion, the subject “provides them with an environment,” the artist writes. “It is my hope that these relationships speak to the tendency for nature and the human psyche to mirror each other.”

Sobieski, who is based in St. Paul, has a solo show at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee that’s slated for this October. Until then, follow her poetic artworks on Instagram, and pick up a print from Etsy. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

“Bird Eyes,” oil on panel, 6 x 6 inches

“Daisy Eyes,” oil on linen, 8 x 10 inches

 

 



Illustration

Expressive Portraits, Line Drawings, and Foliage Are Superimposed into Rich Illustrations by Ana Santos

February 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ana Santos, shared with permission

At the center of Ana Santos’s practice is a commitment to discovery. The Salamanca-based illustrator fuses multiple mediums—her work ranges from watercolor, ink-based drawing, and digital painting to embroidery and ceramics—into portraits superimposed with clusters of foliage, birds, and small, black-and-white renderings, a technique she’s developed through experimentation. “Enjoying the process is very important and being open to error has given me unexpected results, which I really appreciate,” she tells Colossal.

Santos begins the layered works on paper, which she then scans to complete digitally in Photoshop. The resulting portraits are expressive and complex, weaving in elements of emotion, fantasy, and nature.  “I don’t like to explain or give a concrete narrative to my work,” she says. “It seems magical to me that the viewer is open to a free and personal interpretation and that the viewer feels that it is their own.”

Shop originals and prints of Santos’s illustrations on her site, and follow her latest projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Illustration

Bold Animal Portraits Emerge from Ornamental Backdrops in YoAz's Digital Illustrations

February 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © YoAz, shared with permission

In YoAz’s Ornamental Animals, vibrant portraits of lions, gorillas, and other large mammals pop out of an expanse of decorative flourishes. The new series utilizes an ornate motif that’s consistent throughout each piece, with the faces of each creature delineated by saturated tones that contrast the otherwise pastel backdrop. The Paris-based illustrator and graphic designer shares that for the digital portraits, he focuses on three colors that vary in shade, using one to outline the face, a brighter hue to add density and movement, and another to intensify the animal’s individual characteristics.

Prints of YoAz’s illustrations are available from Society6, and you can find an extensive collection of his work on Behance and Instagram.