Hyung Koo Kang is a Korean contemporary painter best known for his hyper realistic portraits of iconic personalities from history. He graduated from the Painting department of Chungang University in Seoul, Korea.
Kang’s portraits of famous people such as Pablo Picasso, Audrey Hepburn are actually works of composite-realism rather than photo-realism. These works are created through the artist’s direct and indirect understanding of the character. Kang’s works exhibited several means of mixed medium with illusionary photo-realism, allowing the audience to interact with the artwork.
Kohshin Finley’s latest works depict people of color as they attempt to answer the question, “how do I survive in America?” This series is the visual manifestation of a poem Finley wrote called Camouflage for the Modern Man. Camouflage tells the story of a young man who, in the wake of numerous police shootings, casts away his Air Jordans, hoodies, and other markers of vilified black masculinity, in hopes of putting his mind at ease. When his search for peace of mind proves futile, he begins to paint his body titanium white as his last recourse.
Born and raised in the racial and social climate of South Central Los Angeles, Finley taps into his own Black-Mexican heritage and experiences to create each painting. Finley’s friends and family are the subjects of these paintings, captured in vulnerable moments, at their most honest and revealing while having conversations with Finley about navigating the world as people of color.
Toyin Ojih Odutola creates drawings utilizing diverse mediums to emphasize the striated terrain of an image and its formulaic representations. Odutola focuses on the sociopolitical construct of skin color through her multimedia drawings. Her work explores her personal journey of having been born in Nigeria then moving and assimilating into American culture in conservative Alabama.
Baltimore based Amy Sherald received her MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art, BA in Painting from Clark-Atlanta University, and was a Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence in Portobelo, Panama.
Her work started out autobiographical in nature, but has taken on a social context ever since she moved to Baltimore. She is best known for her portrait paintings that address social justice, as well as her choice of subjects, which are drawn from outside of the art historical narrative. Through her work, she takes a closer look at the way people construct and perform their identities in response to political, social, and cultural expectations.
Toronto based Brian Donnelly (previously featured here)is a pop artist and designer. His work includes repeated use of a cast of figurative characters and motifs. Donnelly expands upon previous work to explore portraiture as a record of loss as opposed to eternal likeness. Accordingly, each piece sees Donnelly painting figures with exquisite technique before taking a figurative hammer, blow torch, rope or rake to the canvas.
Miles Johnston is an freelance illustrator and concept artist currently located in London, United Kingdom. Using predominantly graphite on paper Johnston slices away and deforms his figures. Drawn with subtle gradients and shading the works have a light but mesmerizing effect on first view. Johnston seems to morph his figures with their surroundings creating surreal scenes and dream like imagery.
Christian Orrillo is a self-taught, visual artist from Peru, currently living in Chile. Most of the art pieces Christian showcases online have a glowy and fantastic feel and can be categorized as a contemporary art. Just imagine all of his fantasy characters living in the color space setting with all the imaginary details he puts into his creations.
Kellie Orr is based in Perth, Western Australia, and mainly works in portraiture. Using realistic and hyperrealistic oil painting methods, Kellie’s work presents honest observations of social behavior, personal identity development and western cultural themes. Her work explores the subtle nuances of our daily lives, our shared experiences and the human condition.
Tokyo, Japan based Tomoo Gokita’s gray-scale paintings depict archetypal figures, such as a pin-up girl or a geisha, with their faces concealed. With a background in graphic design, the artist was initially inspired to create art by his love of manga and animation. His paintings reflect these pop cultural influences, evoking iconic celebrity headshots and pornographic magazines. Executed with extreme technical precision, his erasure of the face through Neo-expressionistic flourishes or scraping gestures disturbs and adds a humorous element to his compositions.
Bennett Slater (previously featured here) is a Canadian illustrator, designer and graduate from the illustration program at the Sheridan Institute. Bennett’s work is drawn from the relationships the future shares with the past; the new from the old, life from death. Utilizing traditional oil methods on wood, his work plays with techniques borrowed from Flemish and Dutch master disciplines combined with bold, geometric forms linked to more contemporary futurism and deco sensibilities. This dichotomy of contrasting artistic disciplines and influences lends itself to the underlying dualities observed in his work.