Process and Portraiture : Nemo Jantzen and Yoo Hyun
BLANK SPACE is pleased to present a new viewing room of portraits by mixed media artists Nemo Jantzen and Yoo Hyun. Both artists approach portraiture using novel techniques and mediums to create works that shift based on the angle of viewing and relate back to their mediums.
Dutch artist Nemo Jantzen creates his photomosaic portraits by collecting and placing thousands of individual images behind glass domes set in resin. To begin he chooses an image, the portrait, and then begins assembling the piece chromatically with his archival imagery. Each piece has a theme (music, pop culture, or a mood) and all the small images pertain to that theme. Collectively the individual images build the larger portrait however, because they are magnified behind glass domes, when the viewer is close to the piece each image stands out on its own. It is only when standing at a distance, or viewing the piece through a lens, that the resulting portrait is clearly visible.
Jantzen’s work and technique, Neo-Pointillism, draws from a collective consciousness and image-saturated culture to question how we see people and places in today’s society. By selecting images by theme, Jantzen puts a filter into the very core of the work as his subjects are literally constructed from idealized and romantic components. The resulting portraits reflect this idealized world by allowing the viewer to see both sides of the image, the image as a whole and the individual parts that come together to build it.
South Korean artist Yoo Hyun melds different and unexpected techniques to bridge the gap between contemporary and traditional forms of art. Using just a knife and tweezers, Hyun patiently cuts a delicate Korean paper, called hanji, to create uniquely stylized, photorealistic portraits of popular figures. Once he has prepared the portrait, he floats the cutout in front of a single black ink splatter, made with a large traditional calligraphy brush, which creates the contrast necessary to see the portrait.
By utilizing the same principles used produce images both in print media and on digital screens, Hyun deconstructs the image by separating the different optical components and laying them out for all to see. His works are at once digitally rendered and handcrafted, and their contemporary look is only made visible by the traditional brushstroke that creates the background. The finished works also investigate the history of pop art as they resemble a stencil and ink print similar to the screen prints of Warhol, while Hyun's stylized, optical portraits also bring to mind Lichtenstein's reimagining of halftone printing through handmade means. What results are works that transcend the dichotomies often prescribed to art making such as, digital vs. analogue, traditional vs. contemporary, Eastern vs. Western aesthetics, and search for a way to synthesize and expand them instead.
For more information about and images of these processes follow our instagram @blankspaceart and for any inquiries about pricing, availabilities, or general information please reach out to Euan Rugg at firstname.lastname@example.org