portraits

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Photography

21 Years of Noah Kalina's Daily Self-Portraits Are Compiled in a Two-Minute Montage of Aging

July 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

More than two decades ago, Noah Kalina started taking a daily self-portrait, a ritualistic practice that’s culminated in a few timelapses collating the images as part of his Everyday project. His most recent manifestation in that ongoing series melds together photos from the last 7,777 days in a striking two-minute compilation that vividly shows how he ages over the 21-year period.

A collaborative effort with sound designer Paul O’Mara and programmer Michael Notter, the timelapse uses five of Kalina’s facial features—his eyes, nose, and corners of his mouth—that Notter aligned in all of the photos to ensure smooth transitions from one to the next. Not all 7,777 portraits make it into the final video, though, because they opted to use the average of 60 faces in each frame, meaning Kalina ages two months every second.

Check out the earlier iterations of the Everyday project on YouTube. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Art

Monumental Cut Paper Portraits Celebrate the Fundamental Importance of Community and Friendship

July 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 77 x 48 1/4 inches. All images courtesy of Antonius Bui and Monique Meloche Gallery, shared with permission

Vietnamese-American artist Antonius Bui highlights the flexible, evolving nature of identity and the value of community through a series of unapologetically affectionate portraits. Elaborate hand-cut botanicals and geometric motifs envelop and give shape to Bui’s subjects, who include chosen and biological family members, friends, and colleagues. Painted in deep blue or inked in smaller spots to emit a warm glow, the pieces are monumental in scale—some extend upwards of 10 feet—and saturated with underlying stories that reveal themselves through smaller portraits and displays of domestic life embedded in the central image.

Continually focused on the power of narrative, Bui leaves gaps in the metaphorical, mesh-like works as a way to create space for more nuanced understandings of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, immigrant experiences, queerness, and the prevalence of false binaries. A child of Vietnamese refugees, they draw on their family’s heritage with “allusions to the spiritual significance of Joss paper, an incense paper used both to imitate value and as a form of blessings, position(ing) each work almost as an offering to honor queer communities,” a statement about the portraits says.

All of the works shown here are part of The Detour Is to Be Where We Are, which is on view through August 14 at Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. You can find more of Bui’s intimate pieces on their site and Instagram.

 

Detail of “The limits of my language are the limits of my world” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 77 x 48 1/4 inches

Detail of “for hunger is to give the body what it knows it cannot keep” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 120 x 61 inches

“If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 104 x 60 inches

Left: “I remember opening you into words, gently, with a single question” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 100 3/4 x 49 3/4 inches. Right: “for hunger is to give the body what it knows it cannot keep” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 120 x 61 inches

“theoriginalcalloutqueen” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 50 x 99 1/2 inches

Left: “When they move on, it’s just us” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 34 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches. Right: “Vessel 4″ (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 33 3/4 x 21 inches

“If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 104 x 60 inches

 

 



Art Craft Illustration

Layers of Cut Paper Foliage Fragment Christine Kim's Collaged Portraits

July 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Christine Kim, shared with permission

Obscured faces peek through tangles of leaves and stems in the ethereal portraits of Toronto-based artist Christine Kim. Her mixed-media collages layer textured graphite gradients and mesh-like cuttings into splintered depictions of her subjects. “‘Fragmentary’ is one word that I return to again and again because I think portraiture is an act of catching glimmers of a person,” she tells Colossal. “I like the idea of not being able to see everything. Having multiple layers partially conceals but the patterns of foliage, (which) also act like a kind of shelter.”

For each work, Kim first illustrates a single figure—the subjects shown here are models Yuka Mannami and Hoyeon Jung—and then digitally draws a corresponding botanical pattern. Those motifs are cut with the help of a Silhouette Cameo machine before they’re built up sheet by sheet. Graceful and at times surreal, the resulting portraits portray fractions of faces and hands that are duplicated or filtered through colorful webs.

You can dive into Kim’s process in this studio visit, and find a larger collection of her tiered illustrations on Instagram. (via Supersonic Art)

 

 

 



Photography

Gripping Portraits Capture the Tender Bonds Between Transylvanian Shepherds and Their Herds

July 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Istvan Kerekes, shared with permission

In much of the Western world, mentioning Transylvania tends to evoke sinister imagery of dimly lit Gothic castles and notoriously blood-thirsty vampires. The region in central Romania has long been tied to the horrors of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, an association that overshadows the area’s rich history.

Hungarian photographer Istvan Kerekes has spent the last 15 years upending that literary connection by documenting the shepherding communities that have farmed Transylvania for centuries. Bordered by the Apuseni and the Carpathian mountain ranges, the hilly landscape is ripe with greenery and open pastures for sheep, cattle, and other livestock to graze. “When walking in some parts of Transylvania one would often feel that you have traveled back in time,” he says. “There is hardly any sign of modern technology here. It is as if time had stopped, while beauty and nature are preserved”

Kerekes’s portraits and wider landscape shots capture the grit and determination of those who devote their lives to attending to their herds. Shot entirely in black-and-white, the photos glimpse the mutual bonds between the animals and their caretakers and the ways the traditional mode of living is passed from generation to generation.  They’re powerful and raw, showing the tender embrace of a weathered man as he cradles a lamb in his coat or the way a child wraps one of the animals around her neck.

All of the images shown here are part of a virtual exhibition at All About Photo, which is up through August. They’re just a fraction of Kerekes’s larger collection, though, and you can see more on his site.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Minimal Lines and Colorful Geometric Shapes Compose Luciano Cian's Portraits

June 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Luciano Cian, shared with permission

Rio de Janeiro-based artist Luciano Cian (previously) has an affinity for the bold blocks of color that compose his minimal portraits. Although he recently expanded his practice to include acrylic paintings and collage, Cian works primarily digitally, rendering anonymous figures with thin lines and vibrant, geometric shapes like in his MAGNA series. “It has this name because it is big, both in dimensions and in purpose,” he tells Colossal. “I always work with images that allude to ethnicity. This series, like the others, talks about the miscegenation of races and peoples, with diversity as the central focus.”

Cian teamed up with the nonprofit Prints Against Poverty to sell a collection of 15 works, and you can purchase more of his available pieces on Saatchi Art, Artsper, and The Artling. Find an extensive archive of his portraits on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Distorted Figures Navigate the Aftermath of Environmental Destruction in Portraits by Stamatis Laskos

June 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Losing the last rights” (2021), oil on canvas, 200 x 120 centimeters. All images © Stamatis Laskos, shared with permission

Fantastically tall figures with elongated limbs and torsos inhabit the distorted, mysterious realities painted by artist Stamatis Laskos (previously). The highly stylized artworks, which extend upwards of six feet, imagine a universe marred by unknown destruction: an elderly man wades through waist-high water while fire burns in the background, a woman retrieves a human skeleton from a flood, and a self-portrait shows the artist shielding his eyes with detached hands. Working with Earth tones and an implied dim light, Laskos shrouds each scene with shadow, which obscures the figures’ faces and casts an eerie tension over the degraded environments.

At once distant and deeply personal, each painting draws on ideas of collective unconscious and Jungian archetypes, whether portrayed through wise figures, an apocalypse, or the unification of opposing forces. “Giving them the necessary deformation, my archaic protagonists carve out incompatible and irreconcilable trajectories,” Laskos says. “The unconscious and the hidden memories are framed by colors, shapes, and situations that complement my compositions in such a way that each work is a page from my diary, always reminding me how and why it was created.”

Laskos is currently based in his hometown of Volos, Greece, and some of his works on canvas are on view through June 25 at Lola Nikolaou Art Gallery in Thessaloniki. Later this summer, he’ll be painting a larger mural in Athens focused around a theme of environmental ruin, and you can follow his progress on that piece on Behance and Instagram.

 

“Self-portrait” (2021), oil on canvas,110 x 80 centimeters

“Golden hour” (2021), oil on canvas, 180 x 120 centimeters

“Cretan” (2020), oil on canvas, 1,880 x 1,120 centimeters

Detail of “”Cretan” (2020), oil on canvas, 1,880 x 1,120 centimeters

“Soldier”

“Under the table” (2021), oil on canvas, 150 x 150 centimeters

Detail of “Under the table” (2021), oil on canvas, 150 x 150 centimeters

Laskos working on “Losing the last rights”

 

 

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