Ornate Fabrics Cloak Models in Disquieting Portraits by Artist Markus Åkesson
June 30, 2020

Swedish artist Markus Åkesson enshrouds his subjects in elaborately patterned silks and satins, leaving only the impression of their faces, limbs, and torsos visible. An extension of his ongoing Now You See Me series, the artist’s latest paintings continue his exploration of repetition and the unsettling feelings evoked by being wrapped in fabric. By completely covering his models, they “became a secret. Instead, I started to tell a story within the pattern itself, like a sub-narrative in the painting,” he writes. More Continue reading

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Artist Spotlight: Kareem-Anthony Ferreira
June 25, 2020

Kareem-Anthony Ferreira In my work I am tracing patterns of personal, familial and social identity within the genre of black portraiture. In an effort to shift the overly simplified perceptions that my two disparate familial communities hold toward the other, I offer visual re-creations of both identities, personal family traits, and events. The experiences and … Continued Continue reading

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Children’s Imaginations Materialize as Cartoon Chaos in Paintings by Artist Kayla Mahaffey
June 3, 2020

Chicago-based artist Kayla Mahaffey captures the vivid reveries occupying young minds. She juxtaposes realistically rendered figures with chaotic scenes of two-dimensional cartoon characters as they emerge from amorphous clouds and pastel commotions. Each central figure wears a distinct expression that’s reflected through the fictional world.
Many of Mahaffey’s pieces portraying children’s imaginations shown here are part of the series Off to the Races, which serves as a hopeful narration of change, she said in a statement. More Continue reading

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Spirited Narratives Drive Whimsical, Patterned Paintings by Monica Rohan
May 23, 2020

Whether unwrapping themselves from textile folds or balancing atop spindly stools, Monica Rohan’s figures are perpetually in motion. The painter depicts adventurous subjects set amongst whimsical worlds of overgrown bushes, vibrant seas of fabric, and cloudless skies rendered in patches blue. “The figure brings tension, the possibility of a narrative,” she tells Colossal. Rohan envisions each character as the impetus for action in her playful landscapes and thickly decorated domestic scenes.
Each piece begins with the artist exploring a photographic catalog she maintains with imagery of nature, interiors, and self-portraits. More Continue reading

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Terrence Caviar & Kristin Texeira

New color in the times of slow coffee Terrence Caviar & Kristin Texeira We’re crazy about the paintings of our friend Kristin Texeira, so we had the idea to make photos inspired by the elemental shapes and soothing color palettes that make up Kristin’s beautiful abstract compositions. Everyone under stay-in-place mandates (Kristin in upstate New … Continued Continue reading

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Just Add Water With the Best Watercolor Pencils
May 15, 2020

Watercolor pencils are the perfect hybrid of drawing and painting. They allow artists to draw with a dry pencil and use water, before or after, for a variety of shimmering watercolor effects. The core of a watercolor pencil is composed of pigment with a water-soluble binder. It acts like a colored pencil but is activated […] Continue reading

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Unspun Wool Sculpted into Intimate Portraits by Artist Salman Khoshroo
May 8, 2020

For Salman Khoshroo, carefully fashioning thick fibers into masculine portraits has a therapeutic effect. The Iranian artist, whose impasto paintings we’ve written about previously on Colossal, says his Wool on Foam series is born out of recent trauma and experience in quarantine. By sculpting the wool rovings into slight noses, puckered lips, and flowing hair, Khoshroo has evoked the delicacy and vulnerability humans face in precarious situations. More Continue reading

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Dreamy Paintings by Jacob Brostrup Layer Interior and Exterior Scenes into Surreal Composites
May 2, 2020

Danish artist Jacob Brostrup (previously) beautifully blurs the organic and domestic in his enchanting scenes of soaked floorboards and branches that jut from every corner. What could be a reason to phone a contractor in real life, the downed trees and pooling water in the artist’s oil paintings create a fictional universe in which nature and humanity exist simultaneously in the same space. Each artwork is filled with an incredible number of realistic details that pattern armchairs and provide moss its fuzzy texture. More Continue reading

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