Aniela Sobieski is intrigued by “the human impulse to self-decorate,” a fascination that permeates every aspect of her portraiture. Evoking both baroque paintings and contemporary fashions, Sobieski adorns women and the occasional dog with elaborate makeup and sculptural accessories placed conspicuously to mask the subject’s features. She seamlessly maps classic still lifes and sparse landscapes directly onto the sitter’s face, often highlighting the natural shape of the eye and coating the figure’s lips in bold red.
Apparent within Sobieski’s oil paintings is a symbiotic relationship between the subject and their lavish accessories: while a pair of daisies or bucolic scene serve as expressions of identity and emotion, the subject “provides them with an environment,” the artist writes. “It is my hope that these relationships speak to the tendency for nature and the human psyche to mirror each other.”
Sobieski, who is based in St. Paul, has a solo show at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee that’s slated for this October. Until then, follow her poetic artworks on Instagram, and pick up a print from Etsy. (via This Isn’t Happiness)