Vivid Foliage Suspends Xiao Wang’s Portraits in Uncanny Pressure


“Portrait, October” (2022), oil on canvas, 41 x 54 inches. All photographs © Xiao Wang, shared with permission

Gingko leaves laced with violet, eucalyptus sprigs in blue, and ferns glowing with shiny orange veil Xiao Wang’s portraits with a way of delicate unreality. As if illuminated by fluorescent mild, the oil work depict quiet, introspective, and intimate moments between the artist and topics, who relaxation amongst lush flora.

In a notice to Colossal, Wang shares that he frequently strives for each distinction and steadiness. He has relationships with every individual he paints, whether or not or not it’s buddies, his associate, or himself, and their real-life bonds emerge via the unearthly palettes. “I need to create an uncanny feeling via distorting pure colours and creating sharp distinction,” he shares. “That’s why there are such a lot of darkish tones in opposition to mild tones, violet and pink in opposition to inexperienced and blue.”

The usage of vivid colour additionally energizes the works and provides to the underlying unease and nervousness of the in any other case languid topics, who seem suspended in daydreams and transitory states. “I believe I’m attempting to stroll between realism and expressionism, which means that my work is deeply based mostly on naturalistic observations and oftentimes maximalist method, but additionally heightened by expressive colours and surreal settings,” he says.

Wang, who was born in China and is at the moment based mostly in New York, has a solo present slated for July at PM/AM in London, and yow will discover extra of his work and glimpses into his studio on Instagram.


“Hangover” (2021), oil on canvas, 44 x 40 inches

“Spaced in, House out #2” (2023), oil on canvas, 40 x 32 inches

“Monkey Thoughts” (2022), oil on canvas, 58 x 44 inches

“Passing Hours” (2022), oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches

“Sound of Cicadas” (2022), oil on canvas, 60 x 80 inches

“Slumber-Nightfall” (2020), oil on canvas, 44 x 58 inches

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