Archives for posts with tag: portraiture

We have long commented on the convergence of history and art. They are intrinsically intertwined, reliant on one another in many ways. So when an artist turns the documentation and storytelling aspect of said junction on its head, we surely take notice. For his series The American Revolution Revolution, Denver-based artist Shawn Huckins masterfully juxtaposes early American portraiture with social media jargon. Thoughtfully conceptualized and brilliantly executed, Huckins’s incredible work succeeds on so many levels. And it’s also important to note that these are physical paintings, should Huckins’s artistic ability ever come into question. Huckins is a superb American artist who is clearly inspired by American Neo-Classical painters, as well as more contemporary Pop artists. In his own words, Huckins explains the series: “The American Revolution was conceived through an exchange of a few well-formed ideas communicated in person and by handwritten letters. Imagine what George & Co. could have done with the Internet. Or not. Technology influences how much we know and what we believe, as well as how quickly and intelligently we convey our ideas. But does how we communicate govern the value of what we communicate? The physical act of typing very fast on small devices has undeniably impacted spelling, grammar, and punctuation, encouraging a degree of illiteracy that has become the new social norm. As goes our grammatical literacy, do our social and cultural literacies follow?”

Via shawnhuckins.com

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On the heals of a dark and bizarre U.S. presidential debate the other night, and the seemingly endless campaign (thankfully) coming to a close in exactly four weeks, we thought it fitting to take a look at artwork with world leaders as subject matter. This is, of course, not regal portraiture hung in the Smithsonian in gilded frames. Israeli illustrator/designer/artist Amit Shimoni’s Hipstory series reimagines world leaders (wanna-be and actual), past and present, is hipsters from all walks of life, complete with piercings, facial hair, and all sorts of hairdos. We appreciate that Simoni’s work (for sale here) is free of political agenda, but rather casts these larger-than-life figures in a new, fresh light. Simply fun and a bit thought-provoking.

Via shimoni-illustration.com

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Nostalgia is a prominent theme in art and design… simply a reflection of the human experience and human nature in general. We’ve seen it take many forms time and time again. Our latest find is a “bit” unexpected (no pun intended). Taking larger-than-life personas of rap and hip-hop artists, and minimizing them into pixelated 8-bit graphics may seem counterintuitive in this age of lifelike 3D avatars and such. But curiously enough, it works. This ever-growing collection of 8-bit characters is the brainchild of young UK artist A.Mulli (aka Adam Mulligan). A.Mulli’s low-res portraits pay homage to vintage arcade games like Street Fighter and Donkey Kong, imagining current hip-hop artists and rappers and other famous figures through the lens of a 1980s arcade character. Below are a few of our favorites. Keep ‘em coming, A.Mulli!

Via Instagram

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It was almost a year ago that we posted about an incredible collaboration between Russian photographer Alexander Khokhlov, makeup artist Veronica Ershova, and floral stylist Mikhail Kravchenko. They have teamed up again for a series of striking photos entitled Bloomshapes and Illusions, where they explore photographic portraiture adapted from a variety of influences, such as minimalism and symbolism. They even employ an element of illusion in their work, which makes it that much more special. Particularly notable is their use of flowers, like their remarkable Marge Simpson piece. Here, they employ brilliantly white blooms with great success. The attention to detail and sheer artistry that goes into these photographs is astounding, as exhibited in the video below. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Via alexanderkhokhlov.com and YouTube

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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again… the proliferation of superhero movies in recent years has spawned all sorts of superhero art (here and here and here), which we are generally fond of. If art is a barometer for cultural consciousness, then fantasy and escapism seem to be at the forefront of people’s thoughts lately. Dubai-based fashion and portrait photographer Martin Beck, however, looks at these extraordinary characters and personas as rather ordinary, beyond their colorful costumes. Beck’s series, We Can Be Heroes, is a collection of superbly gritty portraits of regular people with regular struggles, who might not otherwise be viewed as heroes. Beck, in his own words: “When we think of superheroes, we think of perfect bodies and beautiful faces., achieving unbelievable feats. There are people we idealize as characters that can do no wrong and only seem to exist in our daydreams. This project tries to humanize superheroes. Despite our flaws and failures, each of us, in our own way, can be heroes to our family, our friends, our colleagues and we all have the potential to help others. My Heroes are regular people not restricted by race, religion or beliefs. They live among us, they surround us, they are everywhere. Everyone is a superhero.”

Via martinbeckphotography.com

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Trash versus treasure is all relative, as everyone pretty much knows by now. Rhode Island-based artist Tom Deininger takes the old adage to heart through his remarkable collage work. From idealistic landscapes (one of which is inspired by Impressionist master Monet), to detailed portraiture, to denim seascapes, to large-scale commissions, Deininger truly transforms found, often discarded, objects into things of beauty and awe. We imagine his workspace to look like The Island of Misfit Toys. It takes true skill, an acute sense of space and color, to compose these stunning pieces. To say that Deininger is an accomplished collage artist is an understatement. Incredible work.

More killer collage work here, here and here.

Via tomdeiningerart.com

 

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It’s not often that we, the general public, are exposed to the ancestry of superheroes and other fictional characters. Stories of family roots have sometimes been depicted on the pages of comic books and graphic novels, and briefly on film. But Italian photography duo Carlo Marvellini and Andrea Marvellini, otherwise known as Foto Marvellini, have documented their heritage through some very impressive “historical” portraits. We are really taken with the authenticity of their work… well done. In their own words: “The historical company “Foto Marvellini – Milano” was founded when photography was born. As their old motto used to say, the Marvellini brothers performed “Portraits for everyone. Even for those who don’t want to be portrayed”. Through the generations Marvellini’s historical grew higher, becoming a great gallery of phantomatic characters. Hidden until today, this precious collection is now spread all over the world, as Andrea and Carlo Marvellini, the last heirs, desired.”

Another “historical” post here.

Via fotomarvellini.com and Facebook

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Most 20-somethings use social media to simply keep up with friends and publicize their weekend exploits. But young Italian artist Atena Neezy takes to Facebook and Instagram to showcase her stellar pencil portraiture. Neezy also posts time-lapse process videos on YouTube that are simply amazing. What a terrific use of social media to disseminate one’s art. The social media-minded Neezy even manages to get some of her work into the hands of her famous subjects, and posts photos. What’s notable about Neezy is not only her incredible artistic talent — achieving photo-realistic likenesses with little more than some pencil lead and her keen eye — but also her savvy approach to promoting her work. We’re actually surprised that she doesn’t have a larger following. In time, we’re sure.

Via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

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It seems as if we are currently in the golden age of superheroes, at least if the release of major motion pictures is a gauge. These characters seem so pervasive in popular culture today, not just in the US but worldwide, that inspired works of art are almost inevitable. French photographer Sacha Goldberger really raises the bar with his phenomenal series Super Flemish. Goldberger uses not only superheroes, but also science-fiction and a few other characters from popular fantasies, and poses some intriguing questions: What if Superman was born in the sixteenth century? What if the Hulk was a Duke? How might Van Eyck have portrayed Snow White? And he answers them beautifully in this mashup of modern day superheroes, Flemish painting techniques and Elizabethan-era fashion. These works are really quite exquisite, and certainly thought-provoking. Well done, Mr. Goldberger!

This series is slightly reminiscent of work by British artist Steve Payne. More superhero related posts here and here and here.

Via sachabada.com

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You may remember Bryan Adams from the “Summer of ’69”, but this Canadian-born rock star has some impressive photography chops too. Adams, whose family has a rich military history, photographed 40 severely injured British vets who served in Iraq and Afghanistan for this arresting and enlightening project. This series of intimate, and sometimes unsettling, portraits taken over the course of four years, documents the heroism and plight of wounded veterans, and was released as a book last year, titled Wounded: The Legacy of War. We can’t say enough about Adams’ remarkable photographs… he tells a story of human sacrifice and captures a vulnerability that we don’t often see with military personnel. An exhibition of these works starts today and runs through late January in London.

Via bryanadamsphotography.com

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