portraits

Posts tagged
with portraits



Photography Science

Photographer Ulric Collette Splices Portraits of Family Members into Uncanny Composites

December 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

A spliced photographic portrait of two family members

Brother and sister, Jean-Philippe, 29, and Véronique, 27. All images © Ulric Collette, shared with permission

Ulric Collette takes a scientific approach to family photos with his Genetic Portraits series. Since 2008, Collette has spliced images of one side of a face with that of a relative, juxtaposing their superficial traits with the inherited. The composites are both disorienting and revealing as they capture the continuity of bone structures and other similarities, in addition to differences like eye color or subtle shifts in the shape of lips or cheeks.

Each portrait varies in resemblance, with some, like the recent portrait of brothers Francis and Jerome, appearing to be a single person at first glance. Others require more comparison to find the similitude behind clear contrasts in hair or age. “Having photographed my daughter with her grandmother,” the Quebec City-photographer shares, “the result is astonishing as they look so much alike on this portrait, one could believe that it is the same person photographed at 50 years interval.”

In the decade Collette has been working on the series, he’s garnered quite a bit of interest from scientists and researchers, and the project was recently on view in the University of Wisconsin’s genetics department. Explore dozens of the portraits on the project site and Instagram. You also might enjoy this collection of doppelgängers. (via Kottke)

 

A spliced photographic portrait of two family members

Son and mother, Kristof, 19, and Madineg, 41

A spliced photographic portrait of two family members

Son and father, Nathan, 7, and Ulric, 29

A spliced photographic portrait of two family members

Sisters, Roxane, 22, and Jill, 25

A spliced photographic portrait of two family members

Brothers, Eric, 39, and Dany, 31

A spliced photographic portrait of two family members

Grandmother and granddaughter, Ginette, 61, and Ismaelle, 12

A spliced photographic portrait of two family members

Son and mother, Ludwig, 33, and Laurence, 59

A spliced photographic portrait of two family members

Brothers, Francis, 37, and Jerome, 39

 

 

advertisement



Art

In ‘It Is What It Is,’ Alfred Conteh Takes a Realistic Approach to Examining Life for Black Southerners

December 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

A distressed painted portrait of a man

“Daishon” (2022), acrylic, atomized brass dust, and atomized steel dust on canvas, 120 x 84 inches. All images © Alfred Conteh, courtesy of Kavi Gupta, shared with permission

The urgency of Alfred Conteh’s portraits lies in the present. He portrays Black people he meets around Atlanta, creating monumental works that accentuate the material both physically and metaphorically, in their mediums and the critical analysis of current social conditions. “Black folks are not doing well in this country,” Conteh tells Colossal. “We will not do well until we come to terms with how this country was built, and the resulting racial wealth gaps and social decay. Nothing is being done to improve that, first and foremost economically.”

Layered with urethane plastic or steel and bronze dust, the works, which are on view at Kavi Gupta in Chicago as part of Conteh’s solo show It Is What It Is, are distressed with cracked surfaces and blotches of acrylic paint. Some stand ten feet tall, and the magnitude of their scale echoes that of the issues the artist is addressing. Conteh focuses on the gritty, harsh reality of the lives of Black people in the U.S., particularly as it relates to the historical policies and institutions that continue to affect the  economic, social, and cultural conditions of those he meets. “Stanton Road Water Boys,” for example, features three young men who were solicited drivers on an Atlanta road. “If there were opportunities for them to work, I doubt they would stand here trying to sell a two dollar bottle of warm water,” Conteh shares.

 

A distressed painted portrait of three men

“Stanton Road Water Boys” (2022), acrylic and urethane plastic on canvas, 84 x 84 inches

As the title suggests, the exhibition exposes the overlooked or disregarded truths about life today, centering on current conditions rather than a hopeful view for the future. The myth of meritocracy is widespread, and Conteh rails against willful ignorance of privilege and power especially as it relates to wealth and access to opportunity. He explains:

Aspiration is a viewpoint that someone would have if they had the tools and the undergirding to be able to make an idea real, to make whatever they conceptualize a reality. That has not largely been available to African Americans as a whole, to aspire. Historically, legally, African Americans were enslaved, marginalized, segregated, red lined, ostracized, kept from wealth—the list goes on and on. So how can you honestly say “aspire to be something greater” when the policies and norms and mores of this country say no? It infantilizes people when we say things are gonna be alright.

It Is What It Is is on view through March 4, 2023. Find more from Conteh on Instagram.

 

Two distressed painted portraits

Left: “Shampoo” (2022), acrylic and urethane plastic on canvas, 84 x 48 inches. Right: “IWB Shawty” (2022), acrylic, urethane plastic, and atomized steel dust on canvas, 84 x 48 inches

A distressed painted portrait of a woman

“Loretta (Ms. T)” (2022), acrylic and urethane plastic on canvas, 120 x 84 inches

Two distressed painted portraits

Left: “Reesie” (2020), acrylic and urethane plastic on canvas, 48 x 36 x 3 inches. Right: “Reneé” (2020), acrylic and atomized steel dust on canvas, 48 x 36 x 3 inches

A distressed painted portrait of a man

“Minnesota” (2022), acrylic and atomized steel dust on canvas, 25 x 25 inches

A distressed painted portrait of a man

“Isiah (The Boxer, The Bouncer)” (2021), acrylic and atomized bronze dust on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

A gallery view of three painted portraits

 

 



Art History

Urban Landscapes Merge with Intricately Rendered Figures in Ed Fairburn’s Portraits on Vintage Maps

December 7, 2022

Kate Mothes

A cross-hatched portrait drawing on a historical map of Plymouth.

“Plymouth.” All images © Ed Fairburn, shared with permission

Along the contours of roads, property boundaries, and shorelines, English artist Ed Fairburn draws inspiration for his detailed cross-hatched portraits. As an avid map collector, he is fascinated by the urban landscape and cartographic design. “The more maps I collect, the more I want to create,” he tells Colossal, sharing that transportation routes like roads and bridges can be likened to the veins or arteries of the body.

Fairburn’s intricate drawings directly respond to the layout of the original map. “I allow the composition of each map to inform the composition of each portrait,” he explains. An interest in the body as metaphorical landscape and vice versa also informs how he approaches each piece. “In a wider sense, I hope that my work pushes viewers to think about those similarities, and perhaps offers a reminder that we’re shaped by the landscape around us, which we in turn are also shaping.”

You can find more of Fairburn’s work on his website, and follow updates on Instagram, where he often shares videos of his process.

 

A cross-hatched portrait drawing on a historical map of the Thames.

“River Thames; Staines to Richmond”

A cross-hatched portrait drawing on a historical map of Singapore.

“Singapore”

A cross-hatched portrait drawing on a historical map of Aberdeen Harbor.

“Aberdeen Harbour”

A cross-hatched portrait drawing on a historical map of Paris.

“Paris II”

A cross-hatched portrait drawing on a historical map of Paris.

“Paris”

A detail of a cross-hatched portrait drawing on a historical map.

Detail of “Plymouth”

A detail of a cross-hatched portrait drawing on a historical map.

Detail of “River Thames; Staines to Richmond” 

 

 



Art

Georgian Culture and Ukrainian Pride Highlight the 2022 Tbilisi Mural Fest

December 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a mural portrait of a woman holding a bouquet of flowers

By Sasha Korban. All images by Tiku Kobiashvili, courtesy of Tbilisi Mural Fest, shared with permission

For the last four years, Tbilisi Mural Fest has facilitated more than 40 public artworks around the Georgian capitol, and the 2022 event brought a spate of new projects to the city. Given the nation’s proximity to Russia and that country’s groundless war against Ukraine, festival organizers highlighted renowned Ukrainian muralist Sasha Korban who painted a large-scale portrait of a woman in customary clothing facing the Russian embassy. Other works include celebrations of Georgian culture and history, like a large-scale tablecloth with traditional motifs by Chertova Tina and Mohamed l’Ghacham’s dreamlike rendering of the living room of Georgian thinker and author Ilia Chavchavadze.

See some of the 2022 additions below and those from previous years on Instagram.

 

A photo of a large blue mural with ornamental white motifs

By Chertova Tina

A photo of a black and white portrait mural of a woman with colorful doodles on her face

“Circus” by Luis Gomez de Teran

A photo of a mural of a dreamlike living room

“Illia’s Room” by Mohamed l’Ghacham

A photo of a mural with two women and a plant, repeated three times vertically

“Growth” by Artez

A photo of an abstract mural on an urban building

By Kera

A photo of a mural with two figures and a portal

“M3D3A” by Vesod

A photo of a mural with two regal figures and city

By Dato Machavariani and Irakli Qadeishvili

 

 



Art

Animals of Translucent Botanics Center in Molly Devlin’s Ethereal Portraits

November 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

A painted portrait of a deer comprised of delicate foliage

All images © Molly Devlin, shared with permission

In her exquisitely rendered portraits in acrylic, artist Molly Devlin instills an aura of dreamlike mystery. She shapes the likeness of a deer or snail from layers of translucent florals and foliage: stacked leaves splay outward like the fur of a cat’s face, fronds and wispy tendrils billow from the bulbous head of a jellyfish, and mycelium cloaks a small bird in delicate webbing. Through the fantastical, gossamer compositions, Devlin prods the ephemeral nature of existence and explores various facets of the unknown. “I’ve always been fascinated by the mysteries beyond life and death, the unexplainable offers infinite inspiration to me,” she shares.

Devlin, who is based in Sacramento, is currently preparing for an upcoming group exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery, and she also has shows slated for next year at Revolution Gallery and Arch Enemy Arts. Find prints and original paintings in the artist’s shop, and watch her at work on Instagram.

 

A painted portrait of a cat comprised of delicate foliage

A painted portrait of a jellyfish comprised of delicate foliage

A photo of a framed painted portrait of a bird comprised of mycelium

A photo of a framed painted portrait of a snail comprised of mycelium

A detail of a painted portrait of a deer comprised of delicate foliage

A photo of a framed painted portrait of a jellyfish made of foliage

 

 



Art

In Richly Patterned Portraits, Ruby Sky Stiler Dismantles Art History’s Most Persistent Archetypes

November 28, 2022

Kate Mothes

A geometrically patterned, abstract portrait of two figures and a paint palette.

“Artist with Muse” (2022), acrylic, acrylic resin, paper, glue, and graphite on panel, 60 x 50 inches. All images © Ruby Stiler, shared with permission courtesy of Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York

Throughout the history of Western art, certain tropes occur again and again in painting and sculpture. The motif of mother and child has been reflected throughout the centuries in the likeness of the Holy Virgin and infant Christ or in domestic family portraiture, like in the works of Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt, who specialized in the theme. The archetype of the female muse dates back to ancient Greek mythology and religion, when goddesses like Calliope or Melpomene were considered the source of creativity and knowledge. Brooklyn-based artist Ruby Sky Stiler challenges these preconceptions and archetypes in her ongoing series of Relief Paintings.

Stiler’s works play with gender conventions by turning the male subject into a muse for the female artist or representing parenthood through an image of a father with his children. In “Old Woman (Blue),” she taps into society’s lingering taboo of aging, especially for women. “I’ve recently been exploring the trope of the ‘muse’ and placing the male figure as object. And also in the role of parent, which is strikingly uncommon (in contrast to the abundant depictions of mother and child),” she tells Colossal. “I’ve also re-positioned the female figure in the empowered role as The Artist.”

In bold, geometric patterns, Stiler’s subjects are human-scaled and gaze directly at the viewer. Black-and-white, tile-like patterns provide the background for abstracted figures that nod to Cubism—a movement practically synonymous with masculine figures like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Stiler dismantles the “male gaze,” or the lens through which women are depicted as objects of desire for men in visual culture. She explores the notion of the gaze further in the way that the paintings are experienced by the viewer; from far away the outlines of the figures are easy to see, but the closer one gets, the more the fractal-like patterns distort the image.

A monograph of Stiler’s work is scheduled for publication by The Tang Teaching Museum in the spring, and a solo exhibition of her work will open in March 2023 at Nina Johnson Gallery in Miami. She is represented by Nicelle Beauchene, and you can find more of her work on her website and Instagram.

 

A geometrically patterned portrait of a figure holding a cat.

“Cat Sitter” (2022), acrylic paint, acrylic resin, paper, glue, and graphite on panel, 32 x 25 inches

Detail of “Cat Sitter”

A geometrically patterned, abstract portrait of a father holding his two children.

“Father and Children” (2022), acrylic paint, acrylic resin, paper, glue, and graphite on panel, 60 x 50 inches

A detail of a painting showing a hand cradling two small feet.

Detail of “Father and Children”

A geometrically patterned, abstract portrait of three figures in a family.

“Generational Portrait” (2022), acrylic paint, acrylic resin, paper, and glue, 60 x 50 inches

“Old Woman (Blue)” (2022), acrylic paint, acrylic resin, paper, and glue, 18 x 15.5 inches

A geometrically patterned, abstract portrait of a figure seated next to a vase.

“Seated Woman (Facing Left)” (2018), mixed media, 50 x 60 inches

A geometrically patterned, abstract portrait of a parent figure sitting beside a child.

“No Title (Father and Boy” (2020), acrylic paint, acrylic resin, graphite, and paper, 44 x 50 inches

A geometrically patterned, abstract portrait of two women in gold, one holding a flower.

“Women in Gold” (2022), acrylic paint, acrylic resin, paper, glue, and graphite on panel, 32 x 25 inches

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite