Kenichi Hoshine - Fever - Detail

With Kenichi Hoshine’s oil painting, Fever – the latest edition to Colección SOLOwell on its way to Madrid, it’s the ideal time to discover this talented Brooklyn-based artist. His work joins a select group of pieces by figures such as Karim Hamid and Guim Tió Zarraluki, exciting creations on the borderlands of abstraction and figurative representation. Proof that portraiture still has plenty to say.

Hoshine works across a range of media, from oils and acrylics through to charcoal, wax and tea. He admits being “drawn towards implied images that suggest certain moods and narratives,” and his New York exhibition held in 2009, The Night Before, showcased an exquisite selection of figurative works. Partially concealed hands, faces and bodies emerge from an ethereal atmosphere rich in hidden, secret stories.

More recent pieces, including Colección SOLO’s Fever, demonstrate a shift in focus. Strong colour and boldly visible brushstrokes of acrylic on wood characterise abstract pieces such as Milliner’s Daughter, as well as more evidently figurative works such as Figurative Portrait of a Dead Mercenary.

Another Colección SOLO artist taking a fresh approach to portraiture is Karim Hamid. Blending found imagery, paint and pencil lines, along with unexpected disjunctions of proportion and perspective, Hamid creates incisive portraits that seem to expose the very essence of their subjects. “Psychic archaeology,” as he puts it. Figure Abstraction and Portrait of a Lady with Poodle, both held by Colección SOLO, are fine examples of his work.

The female form is also key in the paintings of Barcelona-based Guim Tió Zarraluki. In pieces such as Bob and Malinche, both part of Colección SOLO, the artists takes on contemporary standards of beauty, “retouching” his portraits to depict subjects with large, insect-like eyes, elongated necks or exaggerated noses. More recent works such as the oil painting Una Dona see solitary figures set within dramatic, colourful landscapes. These small-scale figures seem contemplative, at ease in their surroundings, even defiant. A metaphor for portraiture itself, perhaps.