A highly traditional artistic activity, portraiture is given new perspective through the eyes of the four artists below. Each of these artists seeks unconventional means to create a subject’s likeness.
Vik Muniz incorporates quotidian objects and materials, such as diamonds, sugar, thread, chocolate syrup and garbage into his works to create unique portraits. Often the medium will imply something about the subject, as with his iconic portraits of catadores, self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz photographed the catadores in Jardim Gramacho, which is the largest garbage dump in the world, located just outside Rio de Janerio. He photographed them and then re-created their portraits out of garbage. This process is documented in the film Waste Land.
Ben Durham creates portraits of alleged criminals, all of whom attended the same high school as him in Lexington, Kentucky. Knowing none of the subjects personally, Durham ignites a viewer’s imagination by offering no clue as to their alleged crimes. The images, sketched on paper Durham handmade, are composed of text and titled after the subject’s name. Streams of gibberish, the text captures contours and texture impeccably.
Laguna Beach-based artist Andrew Myers creates distinct, expressive and tactile portraits made of mixed media, mainly screws. In the displayed portrait, Andrew depicts filmmaker Benjamin Pitts using approximately 8,000 screws, oil paint, and phonebook pages. The piece was an experiment in expressing movement with static objects.
Christian Faur’s interest with art lies in the idea that the medium can become the message. Intertwining form and function Faur’s more recent work incorporates crayons to create mesmerizing portraits. Three-dimensional and abstract up close, the portraits flatten and emerge the further away from them a viewer gets.