The Denizens of ‘Submersia’ Breathe New Life into Ancient Artifacts in Oil Portraits by Kajahl
November 18, 2022

From his studio overlooking Monterey Bay, California, Kajahl has created a new series of paintings that draw inspiration from the sea and ancient heritage, continuing a practice that employs portraiture to subvert white, European historical narratives. The artist merges classical motifs and mythical realms in Submersia, a fictional underwater world where artifacts take on new life.
Greek and Roman vessels like glass balsamarii, wine jugs known as oinochoes, and conical rhyton vases often depicted figures or were fashioned in the shape of human or animal heads. More

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article The Denizens of ‘Submersia’ Breathe New Life into Ancient Artifacts in Oil Portraits by Kajahl appeared first on Colossal.

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Introspective Oil Paintings by Laura Berger Convey Transformation and Protection Through Entwined Bodies
September 8, 2022

In Chrysalis, artist Laura Berger encapsulates the raw emotional energy of transformation in a soft, subdued color palette of blues and pinks. The solo show on view now at Stephanie Chefas Projects features a collection of oil paintings that center on entwined figures, their bodies protected by each other and their limbs sometimes positioned as shields.
In comparison to Berger’s earlier paintings, this body of work diverges in opacity, with translucent appendages and torsos emerging through other figures. More Continue reading

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In Introspective Paintings, Artist Ocom Adonias Explores Narratives of Blackness
August 19, 2022

Fusing history with the political and social contexts of today, Ocom Adonias’s work interprets the experience of moving through the world in a Black body. His vibrant, realistic paintings portray people in ordinary moments of ritual, solitude, and bonding, honing in on individual narratives to convey a broader message. “I’m particularly interested in the global conversation of what being an African and what being Black means, history, and the representation of the Black figure in the contemporary sense,” he shares. More Continue reading

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Great Women Painters: An Enormous Volume Surveys the Work of 300 Artists Across 500 Years
July 20, 2022

In the same vein as Phaidon’s formidable Great Women Artists and African Artists, a forthcoming book from the publisher similarly widens the art historical canon while recognizing some of the most influential and impactful painters working in the medium today. The massive compilation, titled Great Women Painters, highlights more than 300 artists across 500 years and a vast array of movements and aesthetics. More Continue reading

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Vivid Oil Paintings by Kristof Santy Present Humble Meals as Bold Gastronomic Decadence
July 13, 2022

Referencing Marco Ferreri’s mordant 1970s satire by the same name, La Grande Bouffe, or The Big Feast, saturates the simple foods found in pantries and fridges with unexpected grandeur. The solo exhibition on view at Unit London showcases vivid paintings by Belgian artist Kristof Santy that transform humble fare like a cheddar wedge or slice of watermelon into bright, gastronomic celebrations.
Often positioned against textured tile backdrops or striped wallpaper, the oil-based works tend to be either devoid of human life or portray figures in rigid stasis: a butcher stiffly lifts a broom in the shop doorway, a finger peels back a tin of fish with precision, and pans filled with sausages and other meats fry on a stovetop unsupervised. More Continue reading

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Oil Paintings by Paco Pomet Brighten Vintage Scenes with Satirical Elements in Color
February 10, 2022

Succeeding his series of paintings titled Beginnings, Paco Pomet’s Endings applies a similarly satirical veil to his provocative and outlandish scenarios: a cleaved camper reveals red steak marbled with fat, businessmen shake hands through an elongated finger trap, and a woman walks a hand-standing friend on a leash. The Spanish artist (previously) is known for his keen sense of wit and humor and distinct visual commentary on contemporary issues like capitalism, the degradation of the environment, and moments in American history that have global impacts. More Continue reading

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Contrasting Shades of Gray with Vibrant Color, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe Paints Bold, Subversive Portraits of Black Subjects
December 22, 2021

Ghanaian artist Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe has a proclivity for contrast. In his striking portraits of Black people, he gravitates toward shades of gray to render the skin tone of single figures or small groups, who sport patterned garments, hats of textured fabrics, and generally vibrant fashions that are in direct opposition to their physical features. The bright, bold color palette is the artist’s preferred method for translating emotional states, inner lives, and idiosyncrasies, one he emulates with the richly textured impasto backdrops surrounding his subjects. More Continue reading

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An Immense New Book Surveys the Work of More Than 300 African Artists
October 15, 2021

One of the most expansive volumes of its kind, African Artists: From 1882 to Now compiles a broad sampling of works from more than 300 modern and contemporary artists born or living on the continent. Within its 350-plus pages, the massive text spans a range of mediums and aesthetics, from Mary Sibande’s sprawling postcolonial installations and Wangechi Mutu’s fantastical watercolor collages to the cotton-embroidered photographs by Joana Choumali. More Continue reading

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New Paintings by Cinta Vidal Elude Gravity and Turn Architecture Upside Down
October 1, 2021

Whether depicting a floating cluster of stairs and balconies or a living space separated by differing forces of gravity, a new series of paintings by Cinta Vidal (previously) establishes multiple perceptions of reality within a single work. The artist, who lives in the small town of Cardedeu near Barcelona, favors skewed perspectives that flip domestic objects and invert architecture, and her collection of oil paintings that comprise Concrete use that same style of distortion to question notions of individual space and community and the walled structures people build in their minds. More Continue reading

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From Canine Ceramics to Abstract Constructions, a Group Show Opens Hashimoto Contemporary’s Los Angeles Space

Ranging from Dan Lam’s drippy, neon blobs (previously) to the minimal, bodily paintings of Laura Berger (previously), an inaugural exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary highlights a diverse array of pieces from two dozen artists working today. The group show launches the gallery’s new space in Culver City and situates Katie Kimmel’s animated ceramic pups (previously) alongside Augustine Kofie’s geometric abstractions and the graffitied scenes by Jessica Hess. More Continue reading

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State of the Union: Faith Ringgold at Glenstone
May 4, 2021

For decades, Faith Ringgold has invited the dark shadows of American life onto the nation’s bright face, chronicling its grim histories, untold betrayals, and unsung heroes. The sound-bite description of the artist—Black Power activist, feminist, maker of story quilts—subsumes the complexities of her fulsome vision and personal voice. Her politics, while prophetic, earned her little […] Continue reading

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Artist Amy Sherald Depicts a Vast Array of Black Leisure through Monumental and Nuanced Portraits
April 20, 2021

Amy Sherald plumbs the multitudes of Black leisure in The Great American Fact, a series of arresting portraits that are currently on view at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles. From a woman resting on a bicycle to two surfers readying for the water, the oil-based paintings observe moments of respite and pleasure at a monumental scale, sometimes spanning nearly nine feet across.
Although she surrounds her subjects with vivid patches of color and portrays them wearing bright garments, Sherald (previously) continues to render her subjects’ skin in her signature grayscale, which she’s described in recent years as a way to have the figures read “in a universal way, where they could become a part of the mainstream art historical narrative.” This new series also features elements synonymous with American culture, including a white picket fence, Barbie T-shirt, and retro convertible. More Continue reading

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Sublime Renderings of Women and Girls Explore Notions of Beauty in Portraits by Rosso Emerald Crimson
March 19, 2021

In her exquisite portraiture, London-based artist Rosso Emerald Crimson renders female subjects who emerge through a haze of pastels and muted tones. She infuses the dreamy oil paintings with responses to current affairs and questions about the future, which often serve as a catalyst for her projects. “I don’t ‘think’ specifically about political or ethical issues when I paint although my creative flow is undoubtedly fuelled by the impressions and emotions many global events leave subconsciously,” she tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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A Van Gogh Painting Has Been Unveiled for the First Time Since It Was Painted in 1887
March 8, 2021

After spending more than a century in a private collection, one of Vincent van Gogh’s artworks has been shown to the public for the first time since the Dutch artist painted it in the spring of 1887. “Street scene in Montmartre (Impasse des Deux Frères and the Pepper Mill)” depicts a couple walking on a windy day in front of an entertainment hub in Paris. Full of color and vitality, the landscape marks van Gogh’s turn to his distinctive Impressionist style. More Continue reading

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Elegantly Subversive Paintings Position Somber Women in the Throes of Domestic Struggle
February 19, 2021

In her poetic body of work, Chidinma Nnoli draws on her experiences growing up in a patriarchal, Catholic home. It “felt very stifling, and I existed in an environment of anxiety and fear where it felt uneasy to relax,” says the 22-year-old Nigerian artist. She channels these memories into her acrylic- and oil-based artworks that are simultaneously ethereal and subversive, distinctly centering on somber, unsmiling women and their hazy environments rendered in pastels.
Subtle comments on a variety of cultural issues pervade Nnoli’s paintings, including the trappings of diet culture, impossible beauty standards, and how many widespread societal beliefs impact mental health. More Continue reading

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