TILING COLLAGES BY ANTHONY GERACE

by Ariadna Zierold

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London based Canadian artist Anthony Gerace creates mysterious collages by combining vintage portraits with colorful tiles that fragment the image resulting in dreamy compositions in paper – often working chromatically, and using tiling to abstractive effect. Because parts of the subject’s face are hidden, the artworks leave the viewer to fill in the missing pieces with their imagination.

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DISSECTED PORTRAITS BY MICHAEL MAPES

by Ariadna Zierold

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Michael Mapes creates, or sometimes re-creates, portraits of people by putting together pieces of photos and other objects, all placed in cases reminiscent of the cabinets used by entomologists for their insect collections. The boxes exist in an uncanny area between photography and sculpture, functioning both as portraits and as fascinating scientific canvases that make you question the the logic behind the organization of each piece.

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Mapes’ portraits are like swarms of smaller portraits of the person they depict: tiny versions of the original portrait or dissected parts of it are pinned on the board, or are sometimes set inside small transparent vials and behind magnifying lenses just like scientific samples.

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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.

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“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

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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.

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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.

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SPIRALING PORTRAITS BY PATAKK

by Ariadna Zierold

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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