Artists regularly use their creative skills to reflect and reinterpret something from their personal past. It could be someone they knew or somewhere they once lived, or as Los Angeles-based artist Adrian Kay Wong demonstrates, it could be adolescence as a whole.
Adrian is a painter in the traditional sense, but his portraits are far more ambiguous than his practice would lead you to believe. In his use of shapes, utilising a soft colour palette despite their bold form, the artist offers his own “intimate depictions of adolescence through his paintings that balance his own sentimentalities and settle between nostalgia and estrangement”. His portraiture works do this in particular, “investigating familial roles and relationships between sons, brothers, fathers and friends,” but as they remain obscure — never including recognisable facial features — they could relate to anyone.
Despite the artist’s “attempt to glorify the innocent naivety of youth, reconciling the vibrancy of juvenility and the struggling confusion associated with growing up,” Adrian has more recently been applying his illustrative style to landscape settings. Culminating in a series of works, Shadows over Chinatown the series continues the minimal aspects of his earlier works, focusing on the minor details. Shadows play a large part in forming the perspective of his paintings, from satisfying silhouettes of plane windows to hidden ornaments that he sees in Chinatown.
Although his works show two very different series in terms of painted content, Adrian’s developed simplistic style allows the works to fit together seamlessly. One constant across both series is a sense of nostalgia, whether he’s painting parts of childhood or a scene from wandering around town that afternoon.
- National Geographic’s creative director Emmet Smith on the publication’s redesign
- Leon Mark’s refined and infinitely stylish photography
- Sophie Harris-Taylor shares anecdotes and insights from her photo series, Sisters
- Designer Anatole Couteau's technical approach lets him communicate simply and precisely
- A peek inside Hicham Amrani's trippy new comic Svend & Xanax
- Friday Mixtape: The Orielles mix for "good times with good people"
- Pentagram rebrands Battersea dogs and cats home to visualise "personality over sentiment"
- Craig Oldham dishes out brutally honest advice to new graphic designers
- ManvsMachine create its most ambitious campaign for Air Max Day yet
- V&A announces shortlist for its Illustration Awards 2018
- Ten examples of rare letterings, from 19th-century alphabets to preliminary drawings of Futura
- Bad week for art world as Jeff Koons piece is smashed and imitation Happy Meal thrown away