portraits

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Amazing Photography

French Bookstore Invites its Instagram Followers to Judge Books by Their Covers

July 2, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In addition to laying claim to the title of France’s first independent bookstore, Librairie Mollat has carved a unique niche on Instagram with its #bookface portraits. The Bordeaux-based bookstore regularly features photographs of book covers held up in front of perfectly scaled, dressed, and nose-shaped people (presumably, some are customers, though some repeated faces seem to indicate a few photogenic employees). You can see more from Mollat—and perhaps even get your next book recommendation—on Instagram. If you enjoy this, also check out Album Plus Art. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



Art

Meticulous Acrylic Paintings by Shawn Huckins Erase Historic Works from the White House Art Collection

June 26, 2018

Andrew LaSane

“My Button Is Bigger Than Your Button” (Marquis De Lafayette, White House Art Collection Erasure No. 7)

At first glance, Colorado-based artist Shawn Huckins’ “Erasure” series looks like a collection of images that have been altered using a digital eraser tool to reveal the empty checkered pattern layer beneath. A closer look reveals that the works are actually meticulously detailed acrylic paintings, recreations selected from the White House Art Collection. Superimposed on the works are hand-painted erasure marks that serve as a commentary on the ideas of history, legacy, and whether or not those things can be wiped away in the present.

While the patterned marks range from measured and uniform to seemingly haphazard flourishes, for Huckins the resulting “obliteration” of history is the same. “The underlying works chosen for this series originally served as testaments of those who came before us and the indelible mark they left on the world, in a very short time, not so long ago,” the artist said in a statement. “In an era where the internet makes everyone a publisher, and digital editing tools bestow the power to create realities out of pixels, The Erasures forces us to examine our assumptions regarding the longevity of individual influence and institutions, thus raising enormous questions concerning the fragility of legacy.”

Huckins shares with Colossal that the collection of paintings are his “response to the current US administration’s policies and ethics surrounding a divisive country.” In his statement he poses several questions to the viewer about one person’s ability to “erase the impact of another,” whether or not longstanding ideals are more easily erased than recent progress, and how the events of today will be “recorded, judged and preserved when anyone can create, or re-create, his or her own reality with a keystroke, or a mouse-swipe, or a dead-of-night tweet?”

Shawn Huckins will debut 18 paintings from the Erasure series as a part of an upcoming solo exhibition titled Fool’s Gold, which opens at Modernism Gallery’s new space in San Francisco on July 11, 2018.

“Nothing Rhymes With Orange” (George Washington, White House Art Collection Erasure No. 5)

“If Only I Could Remember Your Name” (Mary Elizabeth Woodbury, White House Art Collection Erasure No. 8)

“The Most Beautiful Place Is Far From Here” (Rocky Mountain Scene, White House Art Collection Erasure No. 16)

“Loneliness Of Leaker” (John Adams, White House Art Collection Erasure No. 20)

“He Said. She Said. She Said.” (Julia Gardiner Tyler, White House Art Collection Erasure No. 18)

“Tell It Like It Was” (First Lady Caroline Harrison, White House Art Collection Erasure No. 3)

“Planet B” (Pastoral Landscape, White House Art Collection Erasure No. 6)

“Me, Myself, And Hypocrisy” (George Washington, White House Art Collection Erasure No. 13)

 

 



Photography

Toy Stories: Portraits of Children and their Toys Around the World

June 21, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Cun Zi Yi, age 3 – Chongquing, China. All photographs provided by and © Gabriele Galimberti

Gabriele Galimberti spent more than two years traveling the world, visiting over fifty countries to photograph young children with their toys. The Italian photographer shares in a statement on Toy Stories, “I recorded the spontaneous and natural joy that unites kids despite their diverse backgrounds. Whether the child owns a veritable fleet of miniature cars or a single stuffed monkey, the pride that they have is moving, funny, and thought provoking.”

In addition to documenting the socioeconomic range of families around the world, Galimberti’s colorful portraits capture the unique personalities of each young person before his camera lens. The photographer has published a book, also called Toy Stories, which compiles all of the portraits from this series. His other titles include My Couch is your Couch, about how people live around the world, and In Her Kitchen, which documents grandmothers and their culinary traditions. You can see more of Galimberti’s work and travels on Instagram. (via Booooooom)

Maudy Sibanda, 3 – Kalulushi, Zambia

Gabriel Pascoal, age 3 – Sao Paulo – Brasil

Norden Brahke – age 5 age – Morocco

Alessia Pellegrini, age 5 – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy

Virginia May Salisbury, age 5 – American Fork, Utah

Radhika Vachani, age 6 – Mumbai, India

Noel Hawthorne, age 5 – South Dallas, Texas

Abel Sientes Armas, age 4 – Nopaltepec, Mexico

Naya Gutierrez, age 3 – Managua, Nicaragua

Arafa and Aisha Saleh Aman, age 4 – Bububu, Zanzibar

Ralf Mazulis – age 4 – Riga, Lettonia

 

 



Art

Dreamlike Landscapes Grow from Sculptural Portraits by Yuanxing Liang

June 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Wondrously detailed worlds emerge from busts of youthful women in clay sculptures by Chinese artist Yuanxing Liang. Ambling trees, bridges, and temples emerge from the figures’ hairline, fusing realism and fantasy in smooth resin. Despite their complex design, Liang occasionally creates small editions of his sculptures. The artist is a gradute of the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts. You can see more of his intricately wrought fantasy worlds on Weibo. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art

Surreal Paintings by Matthew Grabelsky Take the New York City Subway for a Wild Ride

June 12, 2018

Andrew LaSane

New York City is sometimes affectionately (or disaffectionately) referred to as a “concrete jungle,” but for Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Grabelsky it’s more of a big cageless zoo. Using the New York City subway system as the setting for his work, Grabelsky paints surreal portraits of people who are seemingly normal from the neck down, but who have had their heads replaced by animals, both wild and domesticated.

Having grown up in New York and being fascinated by the imagery of Greek mythology as a kid, Grabelsky’s paintings are an exploration of human nature and of the way that animals represent various parts of the human subconscious. “The characters are symbolic of the kinds of thoughts that lie under the surface of people’s minds, and they reveal that the most extraordinary can exist in the most ordinary of everyday settings,” the artist told Prohbtd in an interview. “This theme is communicated through the juxtaposition of these ostensibly irrational images with otherwise completely mundane scenes. My idea is that my creatures are not original but are ultimately part of a much larger cultural continuum.”

Since graduating Cum Laude from Rice University in 2002 with a BA in Art and Art History (and a BS in Astrophysics), Matthew Grabelsky has shown in dozens of group exhibitions and solo shows around the world. In 2017 he was tapped by electronic musician Moby to paint an album cover featuring a father cow reading a book to his calf. To see more of Grabelsky’s work, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

Swirling Lines and Swaths of Charcoal Form Dramatic Portraits by Lee.K

June 5, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Seoul-based artist Lee.K creates incredibly dynamic portraits using combinations of charcoal, pencil, and ink. The artist layers fine cross contour lines over broad swaths of charcoal to build hair, cheekbones, noses, and eyes with a strong sense of life despite the grayscale palette. You can see more from Lee on Instagram. (via Booooooom)

 

 

 



Art

Richly Textured Portraits of Native Arctic Residents and European Explorers by Preta Wolzak

May 22, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In her series Ma Petite Inuite and Everybody Needs A Hero, artist Preta Wolzak explores the parallel histories of people on the earth’s poles. Her colorful portraits are constructed of leather, embroidery thread, wool, and glow-in-the-dark twine, combined to depict faces of both the first people of the North and 19th century explorers of the South, including Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

Wolzak shares with Colossal that she uses her artistic practice to draw attention to the impact that tourism, manifest destiny, and climate change has had particularly on both the North and South Poles. Our exploratory interest in these seemingly far-off places has direct impacts on the people who live close to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Wolzak is represented by Rademakers Gallery in Amsterdam, where her solo show opens on May 24 and is on view until June 17, 2018. You can see more of her work on Instagram.