self-portrait

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Art

Colorful Raw Wool Is Twisted into Expressive Busts by Salman Khoshroo

September 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Salman Khoshroo, shared with permission

Complementing his series of raw wool portraits, Iranian artist Salman Khoshroo shapes chunks of dyed fibers into expressive busts. The figurative sculptures capture an array of emotions and vary in abstraction, sometimes using aqua rovings for lips and eyelids and others remaining more faithful to a subject’s features. Whether an intimate self-portrait or mischievous character outfitted with jackal teeth, the pieces are evidence of Khoshroo’s perceptive, nuanced practice. “Constructing the face with transparent layers of thinned wool creates depth, much like glazing in painting,” he writes about his process. “I make self-portraits regularly about one every year. This one is the first sculpture and has a unique presence. (It) reminds me of my own mortality.”

Khoshroo recently moved from Tehran to London to study at Goldsmith’s University, and you can follow his work, which includes impasto portraits and other fiber-based sculptures, on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Posed Women Rendered in Vibrant Gradients by Hanna Lee Joshi Embody Loss and Acceptance

July 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Alignment of Virtue.” All images © Hanna Lee Joshi, shared with permission

Twisting into subtle backbends or hunching into a cross-legged crouch, the faceless women that find themselves at the center of Hanna Lee Joshi’s practice all personify an aspect of the artist herself. Conveyed through vibrant gradients in gouache and colored pencil, the figures shown here are companions to those the Korean-Canadian artist created last year, although they plunge deeper into themes of loss, acceptance, and inclusivity. “The magic and mystery of life can seem very fleeting when you’re in the pits of depression. I wanted to reconnect with that spark of fire within,” she says, explaining:

I’m working on pieces that explore finding my identity and the nature of the self. Reconnecting with my Korean heritage and accepting all the things that make up who I am. In the end, I am just a piece of this earth having an experience of the self, and I’m trying to make a visual representation of some of it.

The introspective subjects have signature features like elongated torsos and limbs, dark, glossy locks, and large hands gesturing yogic mudras that further visualize emotion and feeling. The women are subversive in color and form, deviating from the skin tones and body shapes typically associated with nude figures.

Joshi, who’s based in Vancouver, is preparing for upcoming exhibitions at Spoke Art SF on August 7, at Thinkspace Projects in October, and later in fall at Hashimoto Contemporary. Prints are available in her shop, and you can see a few works-in-progress on Instagram.

 

“Wheel of Desire”

“Liberation”

“Pursuit of Prosperity”

“I’m a Little Shy But That’s Okay”

“Sun, Moon, and Fire”

 

 



Art Photography

Clusters of Bright Balloons Envelop Photographer Fares Micue in Her Expressive Self-Portraits

July 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Contagious energy.” All images © Fares Micue, shared with permission

In her ongoing series of self-portraits, Spain-based photographer and artist Fares Micue (previously) trades her usual monarchs and lush, leafy botanicals for bright airborne balloons. The perfectly round vessels appear suspended in motion as they encircle Micue’s torso, conceal her face, or lead her up a painted stairway. The amorphous clusters follow the artist’s distinct use of color, adding either a stark contrast to her clothing and the backdrop or blending with the existing architectural palette.

In a note to Colossal, Micue shares that while she brings in organic elements like flowers and leaves to evoke the earth’s seasonal patterns, the ballons are derived from the universe’s more foundational and constant elements, like the sun, the moon, and the planets. She explains:

For me, the round shape represents perfection, feelings, energy, and the natural flowing of things…(It) has the ability to move easily like a ball and helps us to move forward like a wheel. They are delicate and soft. Nothing can be hidden around a circle cause it has no edges or pointy corners, and that’s what they represent in my work: the pureness and naturality of our feelings and how they help us to move forward, the energy we share with the world, and how they are always surrounding us shaping our everyday life

Limited-edition prints of many of the pieces shown here are available from Saatchi Art, and you can explore an extensive archive of Micue’s exquisitely composed portraits on Instagram.

 

“Chasing illusions”

“Endless options,” in collaboration with Artstar

“Winter blues,” in collaboration with Artstar

“Too many expectations”

“The happiness source”

“Revive your curiosity”

“I choose you”

 

 



Art

An XXL-Edition Compiles All of Frida Kahlo's 152 Artworks in an Extensive Celebration of Her Life and Work

July 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Self-portrait with Small Monkey” (1945), oil on masonite, 22 x 16⅜ inches, Mexico City, Xochimilco, Museo Dolores Olmedo, photo by akg-images

An enormous new book from Taschen explores the life and work of famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954). Widely recognized as a groundbreaking figure in contemporary understandings of gender and sexuality, Kahlo’s now iconic image—particularly derived from her more than 50 self-portraits showing her bold brow, braided hair, and range of floral adornments—has secured her legacy as one of the most influential and profound artists of the 20th Century.

Spanning 624 pages and weighing nearly 12 pounds, Frida Kahlo. The Complete Paintings compiles all 152 of her works paired with diary pages, letters, drawings, an illustrated biography, and hundreds of photos taken by Edward Weston, Manuel and Lola Álvarez Bravo, Nickolas Muray, and Martin Munkácsi that glimpse moments from Kahlo’s life with her husband and muralist Diego Rivera and of the Casa Azul, her home in Mexico City. Many of the pieces included haven’t been exhibited publicly in more than 80 years.

 

Edited by Luis-Martín Lozano with contributions from Andrea Kettenmann and Marina Vázquez Ramos, the volume contextualizes Kahlo’s paintings by offering an intimate and wide-reaching exploration of her oeuvre that was so profoundly impacted by her experiences with a lifelong disability and an unending need to question politics and notions of identity. Lozano describes her unparalleled contributions in a conversation with It’s Nice That:

Her uniqueness in art history is not only based in a feminist agenda as it has been stressed out in recent years, but mostly in her capacity to engage in ideological and aesthetic discussions of her time and contemporaries, in subjects such as public art and surrealism, and make them part of her core as an artist.

Frida Kahlo. The Complete Paintings is currently available from Taschen and for pre-order on Bookshop.

 

“The Little Deer” (April–May 3, 1946), oil on masonite, 8⅞ x 11 inches, Chicago, private collection, photo © Fine Art Images/Bridgeman Images

“Portrait of Luther Burbank” (1931), oil on masonite, 34 x 24. inches, Mexico City, Xochimilco, Museo Dolores Olmedo, photo by akg-images

“Ixcuhintli Dog with Me” (c. 1938), oil on canvas, 30 x 20 inches, United States, private collection, photo by akg-images

 

 



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

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”