The artwork on this page features fascinating and colorful large-scale portraits by three European artists. Each artist uses his or her own special techniques and materials to explore themes of identity (To view any of the photos at a higher resolution, click on the image).
Lita Cabellut, a Spanish artist of Romani ancestry, specializes in large-scale portraits (though she is involved in a wide range of creative endeavors such as photography, poetry and video). In her portraits, she strives to obtain a realistic, almost luminous skin tone via the use of carefully selected media and pigments.
In her coral series of portraits, the canvas is pockmarked with tiny holes, bringing to mind coral skeletons. In Coral Flowers 05 (shown above), the vibrantly colored explosion of hair is like the living coral covering the surface of the reef. In a coral reef, the living coral organisms are anchored to the framework of the reef, a framework built of coral skeletons. Similarly, for humans, we live for ourselves but are still anchored to the culture, heritage and genes of our ancestors. We live in a present built upon the framework of the past.
Artist’s website: www.litacabellut.com
Video: How Lita Cabellut grew from street child to an internationally renowned artist (by the Economist)
The human face is a favorite subject of Hopare, a Paris-based street artist. Rather than going for a strictly realistic style, Hopare uses bold colors to evoke emotions and moods and superimposes geometric lines and curves on the faces. In the untitled painting shown here, the bold black lines and curves bring out the natural geometry of the subject’s facial structure and are also reminiscent of Maori tattoos (known as moko), which represent the identity and history of the wearer.
Artist’s website: www.hopare.com
Video: LIVE PAINTING HOPARE & LIVE MUSIC
Gian Piero Gasparini
Italian artist Gian Piero Gasparini works with mosaics of painted cloth. Gasparini is fascinated with the relationship between personality and outward appearance and the way the two react to form one’s identify. His use of mosaic reflects this preoccupation. Our identity is composed of different personality traits and of different physical characteristics (e.g., skin color, hair color, facial structure, etc.). Like pieces in a mosaic, these traits and characteristics bear no meaning when viewed in isolation, but when stitched together they combine to form the fabric of one’s identity.
Artist’s website: gianpierogasparini.com
~by Stephen Richards (longzijun)
Return to Artjouer’s Gallery of Artists