The paintings of contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang have been particularly influenced by old family photographs, especially those of his mother as an attractive young woman. Formally posed photos are part and parcel of all important rites of passage and in presenting his portraits as photos, Zhang seeks to give a historical perspective to his characters. His subjects put their best faces forward, trying to leave a good impression. The faces look retouched, mask-like in perfection, but here and there, Zhang has included small sections that seem like damaged bits – an interesting contradiction within the paintings.
Artist: Zhang Xiaogang