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    Social Issues and the Climate Crisis Intertwine in Subversive Crocheted Works by Jo Hamilton

    
    Art
    Craft

    #crochet
    #landscapes
    #plastic
    #portraits
    #yarn

    November 15, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “I Crochet Portland” (2006-2009), mixed crocheted yarn, 63 x 114 inches. All images © Jo Hamilton, shared with permission
    From a mix of wool fibers and yarn made from plastic waste, Scottish artist Jo Hamilton crochets large-scale portraits and architectural landscapes delineated with dangling threads. Her knotted pieces push the boundaries of art and craft traditions, bringing the two together in subversive portrayals of powerful women and metropolises marred by production. Unraveling at the edges, the textured works reflect on interlocking issues like unchecked capitalism, social disparities, and the increasingly urgent climate crisis.
    All of the materials Hamilton uses are recycled, whether sourced from estate sales and resalers or created in studio. A few years ago, she started turning grocery bags, videotapes, and other household items into skeins of yarn-like threads—the artist shares some of this process on Instagram—as a way to reduce her impact on the environment, explaining:
    We tend to glorify nature as an eternal and everlasting idea, separate from ourselves and our real-life actions. We’ve held on tightly to these ideas during the last few decades in the throes of late capitalism and globalization, and if we don’t change our thinking, policies and behavior immediately it will be too late. So I channeled my anxieties about over-production, pollution, and climate change into my work, using plastic in some of the works in contrast with the yarn.
    If you’re in Portland, stop by Russo Lee Gallery to see Hamilton’s most recent works as part of her solo show Transitory Trespass, which closes on November 27.

    “Cherry Steel Above and Below” (2017), mixed crocheted yarn, 68 x 122 inches
    “Shinig Mountain Eclipse.” Photo by John Clark
    Left: “Masked Metamorhic.” Right: “Masked Marbled.” Photos by John Clark
    “Death Star PDX” (2018), mixed crocheted yarn, 45 x 52 inches. Photo by John Clark
    “Isaac Montalvo” (2008), mixed yarn, 23 x 22 inches
    “Head & Neck Dietician” (2016), mixed crocheted yarn, 29 x 27 inches
    “Groucho Gia” (2013), mixed crocheted yarn, 51 x 36 inches
    Hamilton with a 2019 outdoor crocheted mural project on SE Foster Road in Portland. Photo by Kevin McConnell
    Hamilton with a 2019 outdoor crocheted mural project on SE Foster Road in Portland. Photo by Kevin McConnell

    #crochet
    #landscapes
    #plastic
    #portraits
    #yarn

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    Impasto Layers Blur Portraits and Landscapes in Li Songsong’s Fragmented Oil Paintings

    
    Art

    #China
    #impasto
    #memory
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

    November 11, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “I Am What I Am” (2020), 120 x 100 centimeters. All images © Li Songsong, shared with permission
    Chinese artist Li Songsong (previously) obscures portraits and wider landscapes with thick dabs of oil paint. His textured, impasto works are based on found photographs or imagined scenes, and each conveys a narrative tied to ordinary moments or a broader shared history. Varying the extent of distortion in every piece, Songsong tells Colossal that interrogating personal identity is at the center of his practice. The “cultural and historical aspects are related to China, and the language and expressions are my own,” he explains.
    Songsong’s recent works include a tender scene with an officer and his dog, a portrait of a hopeful pilot, and a panoramic shot featuring a crowd with hundreds of anonymous faces. The richly layered pieces speak to the haziness and fragmentary nature of memories and stories, especially those interpreted from a distance, and come into focus when viewed farther back with a squint.
    Based in Beijing, Songsong is currently working on a new series of works, which you can follow on his site.

    “Blondi” (2019), 210 x 180 centimeters
    “Blondi” (2019), 210 x 210 centimeters
    “Tea for Two” (2020), 210 x 210 centimeters
    “No More Tears” (2020), 100 x 100 centimeters
    “You Haven’t Looked at Me that Way in Years” (2020), 170 x 280 centimeters
    “Three Decades” (2019), 210 x 420 centimeters

    #China
    #impasto
    #memory
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

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    Gold Ornaments and Precious Stones Adorn Tender Photographic Portraits by Tawny Chatmon

    
    Art
    Photography

    #gemstones
    #gold
    #portraits
    #watercolor

    November 4, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Joy” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 30 x 20 inches. All images © Tawny Chatmon, shared with permission
    In If I’m No Longer Here, I Wanted You to Know, photographic artist Tawny Chatmon overlays portraits of young children and families with dabs of 24-karat gold leaf, precious stones, and watercolor details. The heavily adorned images are the latest in Chatmon’s superimposed works, which veered from digital collages to the hand-gilded pieces evocative of Gustav Klimt’s Golden Phase that are similar to those shown here, and respond to themes of unity and togetherness born out of the ongoing pandemic.
    While many of Chatmon’s works previously centered on a single subject, she’s transitioned to also photographing two children at play or entire families, including fathers where she otherwise had not. She explains:
    My father played such a paramount role in my, my sisters’, and my mother’s lives. It did not sit well with me that I wasn’t celebrating that in my work, too. It has been 10 years since we lost our father to prostate cancer, yet still, his lessons and love carry us through our days. I thought of my husband too, my brother-in-law, my friend’s fathers and husbands, and all of the world’s compassionate fathers and how important they are, and I especially wanted to celebrate Black fathers who are often depicted as anything other than what they truly are… phenomenal.
    Through gilt embellishments, Chatmon emphasizes the beauty and value inherent in her subjects, whose joyful, tender expressions and gestures exude warmth and affection. “The past year’s pandemic revealed to me once more that time with our loved ones is not infinite… While the revelations of injustice leading to civil unrest reminded me of the urgency to continue to work towards a better future for our children,” she says. “I do not wish to wait for the perfect time, the perfect place, or the perfect day to express my love for family and friends.”
    Currently based in Maryland, Chatmon will show some of her portraits with Galerie Myrtis at the 2022 Venice Biennial. She’s working on a new series titled Remnants, which explores themes of futurity and harmony through mosaic-style pieces comprised of snippets of the artist’s previous paintings. You can follow her progress on Instagram.

    “Created in Her Image” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 40 x 30 inches
    “Destined To Lead The Way” (2021), 24k gold leaf, acrylic, precious and semi-precious stones, on archival pigment print 34 x 22 inches
    “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (2021), 24k gold leaf, 12k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 46 x 28 inches
    “Best” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 40 x 30 inches
    “Look Forward, Beloved Boy” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 36 x 24 inches
    “It Was Never Your Burden To Carry” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic, watercolor on archival pigment print, 52 x 36 inches
    “Sweet Heart” (2016/2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic, precious stones on archival pigment print, 20 x 16 inches
    “Ahead” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 28 x 21 inches

    #gemstones
    #gold
    #portraits
    #watercolor

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    Tufts of Printed Fabric Form Colorful Mixed-Media Portraits by Marcellina Oseghale Akpojotor

    
    Art

    #acrylic
    #mixed media
    #painting
    #portraits
    #textiles

    October 12, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Eyes on the Gold IV” (2018), 5 x 4 feet. All images courtesy of Rele Gallery, shared with permission
    Using scraps of vibrant Ankara fabric, Lagos-based artist Marcellina Oseghale Akpojotor fashions intimate portraits that consider the fragmented and varied inner lives of her subjects. The intricately composed depictions rely on a cacophony of patterns arranged in loose ripples and tufts, creating a patchwork of color and texture. Although the textiles are Dutch in origin—they’re colloquially known as “African print fabrics”—they have a strong cultural significance, and by piecing together the assorted motifs, Akpojotor establishes a shared visual memory.
    Set against uncluttered, domestic backdrops rendered in acrylic, the fiber-based figures are often disrupted with small spots of paint as a way to “speak to the influence our environment has in shaping us as individuals,” Akpojotor shares. “They represent the connections we have with our background and immediate society and how these often ignored elements form a part of our being.” Navigating the links between subjects and their surroundings is an ongoing concern for the artist, whose work delves into the effects of the current moment, in addition to the ways personal histories and the actions of previous generations have lasting impacts.
    Akpojotor is represented by Rele Gallery, where her work will be on view later this month, and she’s currently working on pieces that explore how education affects women’s empowerment, which you can follow on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)

    “Set to Flourish I” (2021), fabric and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
    “Bright bright light II” (2020), mixed media, 2 x 2 feet
    “Papa’s Girl (Kesiena’s Diary)” (2021), fabric, paper, and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
    Detail of “Bright bright light II” (2020), mixed media, 2 x 2 feet
    “Eyes on the Gold VI” (2018), 5 x 4 feet
    “Ovoke (Kesiena’s diary)” (2019-2020), fabric and acrylic on canvas, 5 x 4 feet

    “Dear Brother II” (2020), mixed media, 2 x 2 feet

    #acrylic
    #mixed media
    #painting
    #portraits
    #textiles

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    Marred with Dark Hole Punches, Monochromatic Drawings and Paintings Evoke Depression-Era Negatives

    
    Art

    #charcoal
    #drawing
    #graphite
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

    October 8, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images courtesy of Hashimoto Contemporary, shared with permission
    Nearly a century since it began, the Great Depression is still largely associated with the iconic imagery that’s come to define the era. Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” and Walker Evans’s portrait of the distinctly tight-lipped Allie Mae Burroughs are two foundational shots that establish the period’s visual record, and they accompany the approximately 175,000 photographs also commissioned by the U.S. Farm Security Administration during those years.
    While vast in number, this collection is understood today as being limited in scope, particularly in relation to its failure to reflect racial diversity, because the head of the FSA from 1935 to 1941, Roy Stryker, effaced images he felt didn’t align with the agency’s goals. When he wanted to reject a photo and prevent its dissemination, he would mark it with a hole punch, an erasure that Tulsa-based artist Joel Daniel Phillips evokes in his striking series Killing the Negative Pt. 2.
    The ongoing project reimagines intimate portraits and wider shots from that period as meticulous graphite and charcoal drawings and oil paintings in shades of red. Monochromatic and ranging from small portraits to life-sized renderings, Phillips’s works complicate the narratives expunged from the historical record by focusing on a wider and more diverse swath of the population. “When the black voids of Roy Stryker’s hole punch are placed front and center, the reality of just how much power that a single, White man had to shape the narrative re-frames and re-defines the entire discussion,” the artist said in an interview about the first part of the project.
    Included in Killing the Negative Pt. 2, which runs from October 9 to 20 at Hashimoto Contemporary’s new Los Angeles gallery, are glimpses into both rural and urban life with large-scale paintings of an older farmer, young girl outfitted in a frilly dress, and a panoramic shot of a migrant family and their makeshift living quarters. One smaller work (shown below) recreates a selfie that FSA photographer John Vachon snapped “in a hotel room mirror while on assignment. He took several of these, and apparently, Roy Styker (the head of the FSA) particularly hated this one, since he punched it twice,” the artist writes.
    To see more of Killing the Negative, head to Phillips’s site and peek into his process on Instagram.

    #charcoal
    #drawing
    #graphite
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

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    Patterns and Geometric Shapes Disrupt Kaleidoscopic Portraits in Georgie Nakima’s Murals

    
    Art

    #murals
    #portraits
    #public art
    #street art

    October 6, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Georgie Nakima, shared with permission
    Using geometric motifs and vibrant hues that contrast their brick and concrete backdrops, multi-disciplinary artist Georgie Nakima paints oversized portraits that use color to convey “divinity, resilience, strength, and beauty.” The Charlotte-based artist, who works as Garden of Journey, gravitates toward bright reds and blues to form stripes, facial features, and various plants and animals in a manner that connects the central subjects to their environments. “The color is totally freestyle, and I really like to start with a base color or gradient,” she tells Colossal. “Especially in urban societies, it’s not always inspiring when you’re surrounded by gray and brown buildings.”
    A studio artist primarily, Nakima creates smaller works on paper in addition to her more monumental projects, all of which are tied to ideas of Afrofuturism and countering media narratives with positive messages. Her practice has evolved in recent years from strict hyperrealism to a more abstract style that uses patches of color and patterns. “It’s still proportionately realistic, but there’s more depth,” she says, sharing that she focuses equally on her subjects and their surroundings. “My murals are really playing to the ecosystem. I am a portrait artist. However, I don’t seek for my work to be focused on humans existence. (I want to) put some of the focus off of the human ego and think holistically about who we are on this planet.”
    Nakima is currently working on a piece at Mechanics and Farmers Bank, Charlotte’s first Black-owned financial institution, and you can see more of her outdoor projects, portraits on paper, and basketball court transformations on Instagram.

    #murals
    #portraits
    #public art
    #street art

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    Flora and Fauna Intertwine with Strands of Hair in Miho Hirano’s Dreamy Portraits

    
    Art

    #animals
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

    September 15, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Heart Beating” (2020), oil on canvas, 33.3 x 33.3 centimeters. All images courtesy of Gallery Sumire, shared with permission
    Wrapped within the piecey curls surrounding Miho Hirano‘s subjects are twigs, vine fragments, and clusters of pink blossoms. Using a cool color palette tinged with blues, the Japanese artist (previously) paints ethereal, introspective portraits of women enveloped in movement whether through small fish swimming around their torsos or branches growing from under their hair. Hirano tells Colossal that she tends to center her oil-based works around finding harmony and the inevitability of change, particularly in relation to life’s fragile nature.
    Many of the pieces shown here are on view at Beinart Gallery in Melbourne, and Hirano is currently preparing for a solo show in London next year. You can see more of her dreamy paintings on Instagram.

    “Blooming Relaxedly” (2021), oil on canvas, 41 x 32 centimeters
    “Rest” (2021), oil on canvas, 41 x 32 centimeters
    “My Wishes” (2021), oil on canvas, 33.3 x 33.3 centimeters
    “Fragrance” (2021), oil on canvas, 53 x 45.5 centimeters
    “Spring Breeze Blowing Through” (2020), oil on canvas, 33.4 x 33.4 centimeters

    #animals
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

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    Fragmented Blocks of Color and Texture Overlap in Lui Ferreyra’s Layered Portraits

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #animals
    #colored pencil
    #digital
    #drawing
    #portraits

    August 24, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Awear Glasses,” digital drawing for Charmant USA. All images Lui Ferreyra, shared with permission
    Curved patches and geometric blocks comprise the layered portraits by Denver-based artist Lui Ferreyra (previously). Working both digitally and with colored pencil on paper, Ferreyra overlaps outlined fragments filled with thin lines to convey shadow and light, creating nuanced portrayals of his subjects. The prismatic works shown here are some of the artist’s more recent personal projects and commissions, which show the development of his distinct style during the last few years, in addition to the contrast he continues to draw between densely composed fields of color and larger expanses of negative space.
    Ferreyra is currently a resident in The Ramble Hotel’s Art Can program, and his illustrations will be on view at the Denver location’s pop-up gallery through September 7. A few prints are available in his shop, and you can follow his work on Instagram.

    “Unfinished Series 1,” digital drawing
    “Marc Maron,” digital drawing
    “Open Hand,” digital drawing
    “Psyche,” color pencil on black paper
    “Rainbow Series 1,” digital drawing
    “Rainbow Series 3,” digital drawing
    “Jasmin,” digital drawing for Scholarship America

    #animals
    #colored pencil
    #digital
    #drawing
    #portraits

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