South-African Loyiso Mkize's Romantic and Surreal Portraits

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, August 26, 2015
In one portrait of a young South African boy, his head is haloed with a complex architecture of guns, syringes and screaming faces, the objects small enough that they appear parts of a larger ornament. In another, a man shoots himself in the head, his insides erupting into a woman’s face, machineparts, protesters, and the word “emancipation.” These portraits are part of what South African artist Loyiso Mkize labels his surreal work. 

Matthew Brookes' Portraits of Dancers

Photography // Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Fashion photographer Matthew Brookes’ has completed a black-and-white photography portrait series on male ballet dancers of Paris. Taken over a year, Brookes’ brought the dancers into a space separate from their normal dance studios. The dancers were asked to interpret, through movement, the idea of birds falling from the sky. Brookes is publishing a book of the portraits, which is currently available for preorder and will be released in September, 2015. 

Nicoloa Samorí's Ruined Paintings

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, August 26, 2015
We’ve posted before about Nicola Samorí. He creates Baroque-style paintings, marred and destroyed in various ways. One thick painting slides off of the wood on which it was created. Several are portraits with the subjects faces scraped or peeled away. The destruction itself is unsettling, poking at our instincts to preserve and protect art, especially art from past eras.

Australia's National Portrait Gallery's Exhibit, "Bare: Degrees of Undress"

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Bare: Degrees of Undress celebrates the candid, contrived, natural, sexy, ironic, beautiful, and fascinating in Australian portraiture that shows a bit of skin. Bare selects and remixes portraits from their collection around elements of nakedness. Fun and forthright, the exhibition will interrogate our instinctive, embedded and complex reactions to the bare. Surprising relationships appear, including portraits of Australia’s greatest sportspeople and foremost creative achievers.

Maxine Helfman's Portraits Examining Race, Class & Gender

Photography // Wednesday, August 19, 2015
In dramatic photographic subversions of historical portraiture, photographer Maxine Helfman examines contemporary understandings of race, gender and class. In her Geisha series, Helfman recreates stiff portraits of Japanese geishas, but with models in blackface makeup. Her Fabrication series offers portraits of young boys wearing formal girls’ dresses.

Evan Baden's "Technically Intimate" Series of Portraits Exploring Online Intimacy

Erotica // Friday, July 24, 2015
In Evan Baden's portrait series, "Technically Intimate," he explores sexting and online intimacy, focusing on a generation of youth who are becoming adults in the context of online media immersion. Taken from the perspective of an onlooker, the portraits create the unsettling sense that an ostensibly private moment is unsecured and uncontrolled. 

Lola Rose Thompson's Dissolving Watercolor Portraits

Juxtapoz // Thursday, July 23, 2015
Los Angeles artist Lola Rose Thompson's watercolor portraits mirror the quirkiness of the humans portrayed. At times her images simply dissolve into abstraction. Thompson says she "wants to create unlikely empathies, and unearth the improbable similarities shared between distant things, for example the president and the world’s tallest woman, magic and big government, or physics and psychics." 

Yoo Hyun's Portraits from Cut Paper

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Korean artist Yoo Hyun uses an exacto knife, paper, and tweezers to create celebrity images. The images appear abstract when viewed up close, but from a distance become realistic portraits. She favors headshots of über-famous and iconic celebrities such as Frida Kahlo, Picasso, and Michael Jackson. The portraits appear when held against a dark background so the white of the paper creates light in the image. 

Guido Argentini's Silver Series of Nude Portraits

Erotica // Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Guido Argentini is an Italian photographer, famous for his photographic portraits of women. He was born in Florence, Italy, and studied medicine for three years before turning professionally to photography—a background that comes through in the exquisite anatomy of his nude portraits. In his Silver Series of 2009, he uses silver paint on dancers to emphasize the form of the body. 

Malick Sidibé's Portraits from Mali

Photography // Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Born in 1936 in Bamako, Mali, Malick Sidibé grew up farming. He studied Jewelry making, but then apprenticed in a photography studio of a French colonial. In 1962, he opened his own studio, which was a novelty in his area because it had electricity, a luxury in Bamako at the time. He's well known for his studio portraits in the 1970s as well as the candid portraits he took of young people at parties during the 1960s. 
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