CHARCOAL ILLUSTRATIONS BY ODANG

by Ariadna Zierold

fernan odang jr, odang, illustration, portrait, portraiture, surreal, charcoal, manila, phillipines, upper playground

Fernan Odang Jr. is a self-taught artist based in Manila. Odang explores the idea of internal damage by depicting oppressive and corrupt systems that prey on the poor and underprivileged in a series of charcoal on paper works.

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Odang chose to delve into issues such as sexual abuse, drug addiction, and political manipulation. He interprets the nature of abusers by correlating them with animals, using the image of pigs, for instance, as a stand-in for greed, or dogs as a proxy for sexual predators.

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SYMBOLIC PORTRAITS BY VALENTIN FISCHER

by Ariadna Zierold

valentin fischer, painting, paintings, portrait, portraiture, faces, people, germany, upper playground

German painter Valentin Fischer creates digital artworks featuring portraits of various people with hints of geometry and symbolism. He is pretty much self-taught, learning from the web and the influences of other artists such as James Jean and Sam Weber. He has worked in a number of capacities as a freelance illustrator but gave that up a while ago to become an Interface Designer.

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PRESENT DICHOTOMIES BY DANNY FERRELL

by Ariadna Zierold

danny ferrell, painting, queer, portrait, portraiture, male, daydream, upperplayground

Danny Ferrell‘s paintings are structured and informed by ever-present dichotomies: public/private, nature/culture, taste/kitsch, transparency/opacity. He is a painter whose work represents fantasies and fears about the other through depictions of the everyday queer male experience.  Loosely based on his own relationships, experiences, and imagination, Ferrell’s work functions like a daydream, where memory, longing, and external influences shape a personal fiction.

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IDENTITIES BY AMY SHERALD

by Ariadna Zierold

amy sherald, painting, paintings, portrait, portraiture, people, faces, baltimore, upper playground

Baltimore based Amy Sherald was born in Columbus, Ga. in 1973. She attended Clark- Atlanta University where she earned a Bachelor’s of the Arts in painting in 1997. Sherald was chosen as Jurors Pick of the New American Paintings Edition 88. Her work was mostly recently acquired by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian Museum of African American Art in Washington, D.C. Through her portraits, Amy Sherald explores the ways people construct and perform their identities in response to political, social, and cultural expectations.

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PALM STITCHED PORTRAITS BY DAVID CATA

by Ariadna Zierold

david cata, stitch, stitches, hand, palm, embroidery, portrait, portraiture, spain, upper playground

Spanish artist David Catá uses his body as a canvas, writing an autobiographical diary. In his ongoing series ‘A Flor De Piel’, he embroiders portraits of people who have influenced or marked his life – family, friends, teachers, lovers, partners – sewn into the palm of his hand. Catá uses his body as a canvas for his project Overexposed Emotions which illustrates how much the members of his family, including his girlfriend, Tamara, are woven into his life.

david cata, stitch, stitches, hand, palm, embroidery, portrait, portraiture, spain, upper playground

Each eye-watering artwork takes about four hours to complete, after which David, a music student and artist, films himself picking the stitches out of his hands. Using a needle he very carefully pierces the top layer of his skin before drawing the thread through to create a stitch.

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AMERICAN MYTHOLOGIES BY ROBIN F WILLIAMS

by Ariadna Zierold

robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground

Robin F Williams is a painter based in Brooklyn, NY. Her figurative paintings explore pervasive American narratives about childhood, identity and gender. Her figurative work explores closely held American mythologies about gender, privilege, and the American Dream. She uses the fictional nature of the painted image to examine the fictions we tell each other as a culture.

robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground

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STRONG PORTRAITS BY LOU ROS

by Ariadna Zierold

lou ros, portrait, portraits, portraiture, painting, faces, abstraction, upper playground

Self-taught French artist Lou Ros launched his career on the streets of Paris at the tender age of 17 when he would go around tagging walls and creating bespoke graffiti art. Today, he’s exhibiting his paintings all across the world and has made a solid reputation for himself amongst the global art community. His art represents the visible and not so visible worlds. With paint brush in his hands colors fly, dance and rejoice with pleasure and passion.

lou ros, portrait, portraits, portraiture, painting, faces, abstraction, upper playground

“Through the colors, brush strokes, composition, background and rhythm of the painting, I attempt to create works which truly represent bodies in a space without distortion. Without having a clear idea of the final result, I stop my work before it seems finished. The moment where little is enough to suggest the structure interests me, leaving the spectator’s imagination open at the moment the scene is starting to appear. Knowing when to stop before saying too much is what I tried to do.” Lou Ros

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MORBID CURIOSITY BY BLAKE NEUBERT

by Ariadna Zierold

blake neubert, painting, morbid, portrait, portraiture, creepy, faces, teeth, upper playground

Blake Neubert is an American painter, illustrator and writer now based in Fort Collins, Colorado. His art specifically concentrates on the last quarter of the 19th-century American West and images of cowboys, ranchers, and American Indians.

blake neubert, painting, morbid, portrait, portraiture, creepy, faces, teeth, upper playground

Although he began his career painting relatively standard Western Americana, he has recently blazed a bold new trail into more strange and surreal work. On his Instagram page and YouTube channel, you’ll find multiple videos of what is quickly becoming a signature style: he paints a figure, typically something you’d expect to see in your great aunt’s collection of kitschy thrift store art, then to finish the piece, slides a razor blade across the top layer of paint to reveal a hidden perversity beneath.

blake neubert, painting, morbid, portrait, portraiture, creepy, faces, teeth, upper playground

The finished work is a morbid curiosity—you just can’t help but stare and wonder why exactly Superman has terrifying bloodshot eyes or how the blonde beauty got a ball gag in her mouth.

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HUMAN ANATOMY BY EMMA HOPKINS

by Ariadna Zierold

emma hopkins, anatomy, human, people, portrait, portraiture, blood. bloody, london, painting, upper playground

Born in Brighton in 1989, Emma Hopkins studied at Brighton and Hove City College from 2005 to 2007, thereafter she went on to study at the University of London from 2007 to 2010, where she was trained in the special art of prosthetics for performance. Since then, Hopkins has studied Drawing the Human Anatomy at The Royal Drawing School, London, in 2015. She now lives and works in London.

emma hopkins, anatomy, human, people, portrait, portraiture, blood. bloody, london, painting, upper playground

Based upon her understanding and knowledge of the human anatomy, Hopkins allows parts of her work to revel in the deep analysis of concrete substance; skin, flesh, and bones. By focusing on the parts of the body that we use most to express our thoughts and feelings – the face, hands, and eyes – she simultaneously allows her work to flow freely in between as if the blood is feeding oxygen to a preserved life force.

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