BEAUTIFULLY GROTESQUE PAINTINGS BY CHRISTIAN REX VAN MINNEN

by Ariadna Zierold

christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground

Brooklyn based Christian Rex Van Minnen‘s paintings are part Old Masters, part mad scientist, part carnival. Classical still life and portraiture are reimagined with sumptuous beauty that paradoxically can be hard to look at. But it is van Minnen’s masterful technique and eye that draw the viewer again to consider that which looks impossible.

christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground

“I think it’s interesting to take away the eyes and mouth. In a way it makes it easier on the viewer, myself included. It allows for a more prolonged voyeurism and freedom to explore the figure. Like staring at a blind man.” Christian Rex Van Minnen

christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground christian rex van minnen, painting, paintings, old masters, humor, humorous, surreal, grotesque, portrait, portraiture, blob, jelly, colorful, surreal, brooklyn, upper playground

A METAPHYSICAL DIMENSION BY KOEN HAUSER

by Ariadna Zierold

koen hauser, photographer, photography, psychology, fashion, conceptual, metaphysical, surreal, body, portrait, portraiture, upper playground

Koen Hauser works as a photographer and visual artist. He finished his masters of science in social psychology, later followed by studying photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

koen hauser, photographer, photography, psychology, fashion, conceptual, metaphysical, surreal, body, portrait, portraiture, upper playground

Hauser is known for his intangible body of work flowing between fine arts, fashion and applied photography. From purely esthetical to highly conceptual, he frequently references or paraphrases the iconic visual language of historical photography, or even incorporates exisiting images into his work. Together with his distinguished feel for appearance and his love for the mysterious, alienating, strange and uncanny, these are the key elements that form the core of his body of work, which has a distinct metaphysical dimension.

koen hauser, photographer, photography, psychology, fashion, conceptual, metaphysical, surreal, body, portrait, portraiture, upper playground koen hauser, photographer, photography, psychology, fashion, conceptual, metaphysical, surreal, body, portrait, portraiture, upper playground koen hauser, photographer, photography, psychology, fashion, conceptual, metaphysical, surreal, body, portrait, portraiture, upper playground koen hauser, photographer, photography, psychology, fashion, conceptual, metaphysical, surreal, body, portrait, portraiture, upper playground koen hauser, photographer, photography, psychology, fashion, conceptual, metaphysical, surreal, body, portrait, portraiture, upper playground koen hauser, photographer, photography, psychology, fashion, conceptual, metaphysical, surreal, body, portrait, portraiture, upper playground

SPIRALING PORTRAITS BY PATAKK

by Ariadna Zierold

zagred, croatia, paolo ceric, patakk, spiral, spiraling, line, circling, portraits, portrait, depth, fingerprint. monochrome, monochromatic, upper playground

Zagreb-based Croatian digital artist Paolo Ceric aka Patakk creates incredibly realistic images with a single spiraling line. The long, winding mark manages to simulate the appearance of lifelike figures through the expertly administered boldness and thickness of the line in any given spot. By diluting and condensing the saturation of the sole circling contour, the artist is able to mimic light and shadow, allowing it to reflect a sense of depth and realism.

zagred, croatia, paolo ceric, patakk, spiral, spiraling, line, circling, portraits, portrait, depth, fingerprint. monochrome, monochromatic, upper playground

Not only do these beautiful black and white renderings appear surprisingly realistic, the line spiraling out from the center of each piece stirs the notion that each image was discovered by zooming in on someone’s actual fingerprint.

zagred, croatia, paolo ceric, patakk, spiral, spiraling, line, circling, portraits, portrait, depth, fingerprint. monochrome, monochromatic, upper playground zagred, croatia, paolo ceric, patakk, spiral, spiraling, line, circling, portraits, portrait, depth, fingerprint. monochrome, monochromatic, upper playground

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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