Reworking Portraiture: The Art of Thomas R, Deborah Oropallo, Ryan Bradley, Christian Faur, & Andrew Myers

The art of Thomas R, Deborah Oropallo, Christian Faur, Andrew Myers, and Ryan Bradley have one main thing in common – all of these artists have reworked the familiar, and sometimes static, portraiture medium. Maybe it’s a result of my background in art history and decorative arts but I am drawn to artists who take a familiar concept and tweak it to create something entirely new and intriguing. And one of the oldest and most familiar forms in art is that of our own self-representation.

Thomas R’s series entitled Collision Art Portraits is just that: fashionable historical and contemporary portraits of men and women colliding with images of paint, robots, spirographs, and other digital methods of obscuring the faces, or other focal points, of the original image. Do these additions deface or enhance the subject? In some images, the digital imagery acts as an accessory to the image whereas on others the additions shroud the face of the familiar subject matter. The juxtaposition between the digital additions/defacement and the original imagery creates a tension, forcing the viewer to take a closer look in order to resolve the feelings evoked.


Deborah Oropallo provides the viewer with a great segue from the work of Thomas R. It would be easy to point out the similarities of how these two artists approach the subject of familiar and historical portraiture. While both are adding digitally to original images, Thomas R’s work is more of a subtraction of information, Oropallo’s manipulations add to the story of the familiar images of artists such as Ingres.

Ryan Bradley’s art gives the impression of digital manipulations but surprisingly they are expertly rendered pastels on paper. Looking at these images the viewer is transported to a different world, one where humans are intertwined with nature, almost camouflaged by it. Trellis patterns can be seen to either cover or create the imagery depending on your perspective.

When I first saw the work of Christian Faur’s work Art Basel Miami a few years ago, I was speechless. It appealed to intensely to my love and admiration of the OCD artist. First handcasting his own encaustic crayons and then laying them out in a Pointillist grid to create an recognizable image – *sigh* I think I am in love.

Andrew Myers’ sculptural portraits made with screws is a testament to another OCD artist and also touches on the historical art movement of Pointillism.

Pretty cool. Plus he did a great article for Man Made showing how you can make this yourself. Love an artist who shares!

This entry was published on 03/04/11 at 5:17 p11. It’s filed under Art, Artistic Experiments and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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