Olga Urbanek (b. 1987) approaches portraits in a new way. Fluorescent orange brightens like a highlighter. A pane of yellow glass mirrors the peak of a mountain in the background. A heart-shaped bouquet is stuffed into a mouth. These images, towing a line between fashion and fine art, demonstrate an understanding of digital photography as a mode of communication. They offer a vast amount of visual information through seemingly simplistic compositions. In one scenario, pale blue foam acts as a crash mat. The same colour crops again in a PVC jacket, which, in turn, matches the colour of the sky. Meanwhile, green foliage fills the gaps perfectly between the model and the horizon – blooms intervening the composition. Each photograph is a clever and considered juxtaposition of form, colour and texture, placing individuals in unexpected scenarios. Urbanek’s exhibition credits include the Month of Photography Los Angeles and the Sony World Photography Awards. olgaurbanek.com.
1-54 African Art Fair
Here are five trailblazing contemporary portraitists to know from London’s fair: lens-based artists who explore ideas of identity, belonging and place.
Individuality and Acceptance
Namsa Leuba’s latest series explores gender dysphoria, myth and reality. Boogie Wall Gallery, London, explores the themes in detail.