Colombian street artist Stinkfish starts his artistic process by either seeking out discarded photos or secretly taking photographs of people he’s never met. He then transforms these portraits into large graffiti murals and completes each artwork with psychedelic patterns and splashes of color. These colorful designs add a spiritual, emotional element to his works, inspiring empathy in those who see his paintings by revealing the thoughts, emotions and souls of the paintings’ subjects.
Stinkfish uses the high contrast and flat areas of color that was popularized in the 1950s in the pop art movement. This technique allows the subject’s facial structure and expressions to show without the viewer being distracted by minute details such as individual hairs or skin pores. This provides a strong, appealing base for Stinkfish to build his intricate designs on. Because the portrait itself is created with only two or three colors, the bright and varied colors of the psychedelic patterns stand out.
Stinkfish’s method of photographing strangers means that the people portrayed in his art works are often the same people who will be viewing his paintings first hand. Imagine a person’s surprise when one day, while walking down the street, they look up and see a large, artistic portrait of themselves. The truly fun part is that most of his subjects were unaware that they’d end up being immortalised as a work of art.