URBAN CULTURE BY BORIS NZEBO

by Ariadna Zierold

boris nzebo, painting, cameroon, multilayered, multilayer, multilayers, west africa, urban, culture, hairstyles, portrait, portraiture, faces, upper playground

Cameroon based artist Boris Nzebo’s multilayered paintings and collages conjure the astounding visual complexity typical of the West African city. Entirely drawing his subject matter from urban culture in his hometown Douala, Nzebo invests his works with psycho geographical impulse: their primary subjects are the elaborate hairstyles of men and women, which he lays on city views as integral features of the architecture.

boris nzebo, painting, cameroon, multilayered, multilayer, multilayers, west africa, urban, culture, hairstyles, portrait, portraiture, faces, upper playground

Nzebo’s stylized execution owes a lot to painted haircut signs found outside Cameroon’s barber shops. Appropriating the language of advertising he creates portraits taken from detailed studies of traditional African hairstyles, often elaborate, and combines them with informal snapshots of local neighborhoods, urban architecture and scenes from daily life. This symbiotic connection allows for a multiplicity of readings of the image, rendering levels of information in a sort of visual polyphony that rhythmically integrates humans and the space they inhabit.

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SINISTER THEMES BY RIIKKA SORMUNEN

by Ariadna Zierold

riikka sormunen, finnish, illustrator, illustration, berlin, portrait, portraiture, pattern, sinister, upper playground

Berlin based Riikka Sormunen is an artist and illustrator. With her amazing eye for detail and color, and a slight flare for dark comedy, Sormunen has landed herself projects including being a contributor for The New York Times. She creates beautiful illustrations with the finest attention to detail. Her patterns and style are clearly inspired by her background in fashion design, but beneath the surface her illustrations often hold more sinister themes.

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SOMBER PAINTINGS BY MICHAEL BORREMANS

by Ariadna Zierold

michael borremans, painting, paintings, oil, portrait, portraiture, figurative, somber, dark, ghent, belgium, upper playground

Ghent, Belgium based Michaël Borremans juxtaposes -in his figurative drawings and paintings-  somber figures, jarring close-ups, and unsettling still lifes that are at once nostalgic, darkly comic, disturbing, and grotesque.

michael borremans, painting, paintings, oil, portrait, portraiture, figurative, somber, dark, ghent, belgium, upper playground

His seductive works contain timeless images of inner drive and external force, of the latent pressure involved in being human. Behind a veil of stylistic perfection, the artist simulates common rituals of interpretation and meaning. His intensely atmospheric images are puzzles involving political and psychological patterns of perceiving the world, which oscillate in a camouflaging, fragile way between inexorable realism and nebulous distance.

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VIBRANT SKELETONS BY BRADLEY THEODORE

by Ariadna Zierold

bradley theodore, painting, new york, turks and caicos, painting, skeletons, skeletons, portrait, portraiture, vibrant, colorful, fashion, pop culture, upper playground

Turks and Caicos born street artist and New York based Bradley Theodore mixes and matches in vibrant colors key elements of art and fashion, plastering his power clashing hybrids around the city streets.

bradley theodore, painting, new york, turks and caicos, painting, skeletons, skeletons, portrait, portraiture, vibrant, colorful, fashion, pop culture, upper playground

“Fashion allows people to become art. It’s the only time in our society that’s truly accepted for you to be a form of art. The average person on the street is trying to convey an image. That image could be an identity, he or she could be building himself as a painting: it might be the most super-glossed up glam queen, or they could be portraying this stupendous image of Madonna.” Bradley Theodore

bradley theodore, painting, new york, turks and caicos, painting, skeletons, skeletons, portrait, portraiture, vibrant, colorful, fashion, pop culture, upper playground

He’s painted murals across the globe; done cover art for albums for the Wu Tang Clan, created art for Def Jam, Universal Records, and Sony. He’s been featured in Vogue for his iconic skeletal images of Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld. His works play- fully explores fashion, graphic design and popular culture.

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FRAGMENTED COLLAGES BY LOLA DUPRE

by Ariadna Zierold

lola dupre, glasgow, collage, illustration, portugal, surreal, fragmented, portrait, portraits, prints, handmade, upper playground

Glasgow based Lola Dupré is a multicultural collage artist and illustrator currently working in Portugal. Lola creates surreal and fragmented portraits, she uses multiple prints of the same image in different sizes that are combined in one piece. The collage work is handmade with paper, scissors and glue and the process takes a long time, 20 to 30 hours per image.

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GEOMETRIC FRAGMENTS BY LUI FERREYRA

by Ariadna Zierold

lui ferreyra, drawing, illustration, colorful, geometric, portrait, portraiture, hands, faces, upper playground

Lui Ferreyra has been working with a signature fragmented style. The first move is substantiated by a geometric matrix which functions as surface: it embraces and emphasizes the aspect of flatness within a complex network of geometric shapes, each unique unto itself. The second move is fulfilled by the cumulative effect of all the shapes functioning together as a color-field in which each shape contextualizes every other shape, thereby providing all the necessary visual cueing to manifest a kind of window one can look through. These geometric fragments are blended by the viewer’s eye rather than the artist’s hand, producing color fields that Ferreyra intends to call attention to the connection between seeing and language.

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BLURRY PORTRAITS BY LACEY MCKINNEY

by Ariadna Zierold

lacey mckinney, portrait, portraits, portraiture, haunting, blurry, women, distorted, bold, upper playground

Baldwinsville, NY based artist Lacey McKinney‘s haunting portraits depict women and distorted figures, rendered in energetic strokes and accented with bold patches of color.

lacey mckinney, portrait, portraits, portraiture, haunting, blurry, women, distorted, bold, upper playground

McKinney demonstrates she is not afraid to continually reexamine her approach to the figure and investigate new ways in which it can be used to communicate ideas and manipulate aesthetic elements. The ideas she explores play with issues of identity and the complexities and ambiguities of “self. ” Her compositions give a nod to the multiple perspectives inherent to cubism.
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WOMEN BY AFARIN SAJEDI

by Ariadna Zierold

AFARIN SAJEDI, painting, women, portrait, portraiture, faces, surreal, texture, vivid, woman, iran, upper playground

Afarin Sajedi is an Iranian artist that creates soul baring close-ups that make you feel like your spirit has just been scolded.  Afarin is not trying to be a feminist hero or a champion for the Third World.  She is just trying to scope, capture and give a glimpse of the hidden and very often unseen turmoil buried within all of us.

AFARIN SAJEDI, painting, women, portrait, portraiture, faces, surreal, texture, vivid, woman, iran, upper playground

The use of  small brushstrokes make her paintings that much more lively – the texture encourages the idea of naturalism and un-edited beauty and the color is so vibrant and detailed, like you can see every pore, shadow, freckle, and blemish that exists. Her paintings are huge, so you can see every detail up close too, even better.

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