Girl with a Pearl Earring / Johannes Vermeer
1665 / 47x40cm / oil on canvas
The Hague Museum of Mauritian Art, The Hague

A portrait is a depiction of a specific human appearance. Among the various forms of output, such as photography and sculpture, those that are painted are called portraits.

 In the early modern era, there was a genre of painting called “portraiture,” which depicted royalty and aristocracy, but with the rise of the camera, however, this genre of painting declined, and nowadays it is the kind of thing you see in museums.

 In contemporary art, too, there are many cases in which the faces of people (whether they are actually present or not) are used as modules, such as Andy Warhol’s painting of Marilyn Monroe’s face. The use of “faces” as motifs or themes varies from artist to artist.

Hitoshi Tsuboyama

Tsuboyama’s series of portraits, “Combine Portraits,” can inspire a sense of alienation and unease at a glance.

Image 1
Combine Portrait003
53 x 46 cm

 Inspired by the late modernism of the 1960s and 1970s, such as the minimalist art of the 1960s and 70s, Tsuboyama is seeking a new way of expression through the use of color, based on his unique spatial concept, and is known for the beauty of his paintwork.

Combine Portrait011
53 x 46 cm

 The theme of this work is doubt and questioning of the way people identify and perceive something, and perhaps that is why it is so conbine. The way she delineates the face like a contour line and paints it with beautiful colors seems to suggest something about the appearance and identity of the portrait.

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Channy Lee/Changhee Lee

Lee’s portraits also have no sense of déjà vu. He consistently chooses young women as his motifs and paints a picture that seems to blend the medieval and the fantastic.

75 x 65 cm

 While Lee’s work takes on the name of a portrait, it can be said to be a progressive work that seeks to express his inner world.

75 x 65 cm

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Antonio Salas Cabrera/Antonio Salas Cabrera

Antonio creates his works by a method of reconstructing existing images. Existing images are imported into a PC, and after trimming and changing colors, the output images show a different look from the familiar existing models.

26 x 32 cm

 The model of Antonio’s work is also a work of art, and we can say that we are seeing the original figure through a double penetration, since the work has a model figure in it. However, even though the double interpretation is unconsciously cut out, we realize that our consciousness still directly captures the figure of the model. Using a method common to simulationism, Antonio gives us an interpretation of perception.

28 x 34 cm

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Agent X/Agent X

While relying on existing imagery such as American comics, Agent X’s multi-media collages give him a unique presence, and while many of his experimental works feature human characters, the variety of his output is surprising.

76 x 101 cm

Drawing at the unique intersection between the aesthetics and philosophy of Futurism, the social critique of the Dada movement, and contemporary art movements from Pop Art to Superflat, the <> series is reminiscent of the collage portraits of 16th century artist Arcimboldo. However, the combination of contemporary ideas and the techniques of the digital generation makes the works harmonious, yet at the same time leaves us with a sense of chaos and perversion.

April Kennedy
76 x 76 cm

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92 x 61 cm

 The abundant use of straight lines in the picture plane evokes cubism, but the abstract technique is unique to A.C.D., and while it gives the viewer a hard impression, the highly saturated and colorful picture plane gives a sense of warmth.
 In “Le Grand Prince,” in particular, the face is precisely depicted with simple line segments, and the work is a modern expression of the face.

Le Grand Prince
92 x 61 cm

Click here for more information on the work.

 Portraiture is to a certain extent a favorite of professionals because it has a different flavor from other fields, as it tends to show the drama between the artist and the model. However, with the birth of the National Portrait Gallery, the world’s first portrait museum, and the emergence of some of the artists mentioned in this article, portraiture may be receiving renewed attention.


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