Oil painter Alex Gross mish-mashes references to pop consumerism in surrealistic and sometimes apocalyptic portraits that could double as cynical ads. It’s imagery that is tailer made for Adbusters. Some of the most interesting paintings mix in current references to popular fashion and the constant distraction of cellular culture. He’s an artist with a point of view and the best guess is that when he looks around at where society currently stands, he probably isn’t particularly fond of what he’s seeing.

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West Wales School of the Arts graduate Stuart Whitton draws unique pencil portraits that incorporate textural elements while still observing the personality of the subject.

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Oliver is a designer and illustrator ‘living the dream’ in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s currently a senior designer at Go Media but in the evening hours spends time honing is illustration skills with various portrait series.

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Photographer Kate Peters wrote us to let us know she updated both her website and portfolio with more of her subtle and contemplative work. She has a real eye for the world and knows how to gather both unique people and places within lovely compositions.

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Russian photographer Olya Ivanova gets up close and personal with her subjects and captures them as they are with no added frills. The end result is often contemplative, completely human and personally introspective.

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Photographer Nikki Toole is originally Scottish but now based in Australia. Toole’s latest project is called Skater and captures skaters right off the street presenting them in an objective and stark light. It’s portraits of skaters just simply being who they are and what makes them so unique. One of the images is currently hanging in the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. Toole is currently looking for skaters in London, Prague, Berlin, Venice and Rome this year.

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Photographer Chadwick Tyler became known to the art world for his seminal gallery show Tiberius, which depicted 55 portraits of young women as ‘wistful’ creatures. He has recently shot for Levi’s and been featured in Dazed and Confused, The Last Magazine, French, V and Grey.

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Dutch portrait painter Katinka Lampe uses strong blocks of bold color to create a harmony between subject and composition. Her technique is subtle but offset by the sometimes aggressive stare of her sitters.

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Australian photographer Caitlin Worthington is only 20 years old but has the eye of someone much much older. She has some exceptional portrait work in her portfolio and looks as though she is ready to make a break in the fashion world as well.

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Art Director and Photographer Martin Donnelly has updated his experimental playground Mezzetty once again with some new and beautiful work. He has kept with his signature style so far but his portrait work has become more personal, raw and engaging.

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Painter Kwon Kyung Yup first starts with a photograph and then works from a draft before finally finishing her oil paintings. The strength of her realistic portraits comes from the addition of symbolic elements communicating an experienced trauma and vulnerability in her subjects.

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Have a look through the soft, subtle, sexy and composed fashion-inspired photography portfolio of the very talented New York based image maker Jonathan Waiter.

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London based photographer Spencer Murphy has just updated his website and it is full of so many amazingly beautiful images it was virtually impossible to choose only one for a blog post. This enormously talented photographer is currently accepting commissions and lecturing on photography at University College Falmouth.

He has contributed to several publications, including The Guardian Weekend, The Sunday Telegraph – Seven Magazine, The New Statesman, Rolling Stone Magazine, GQ and Dazed and Confused, Wired and Monocle. He has exhibited throughout Europe and North America and was named as one of the Hyeres Festival’s emerging photographers of 2008.  He was included in the National Portrait Gallery Photographic Portrait Prize (now Taylor Wessing) exhibition in 2006, 2008 and 2009. His work has since been acquired for the NPG’s Pemanent Collection.

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Artist Dirk Dzimirsky draws his work at a large scale using colored pencils, pastels, charcoal and whatever works to achieve an nearly impossible amount of detail. The images appear almost photographic and I would speculate in order to really appreciate the absolute commitment to craft you would need to stand before one of the works in person and lean in to see just how difficult it was to create it. Truly amazing.

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Italian photographer Dido Fontana said about his work, “”…I’m interested in the representation in its true essence, with no unnecessary frills, accessories, special effects or extras”. You can easily draw similarities between Fontana’s approach and the work of Terry Richardson. Despite the comparison, there are some amazing images in Fontana’s portfolio of work. The raw, jarring and candid nature of his images have a staying power in the mind’s eye and aren’t easily forgotten.

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Billy & Hells have amassed a stunning body of portrait photography. Each image has been meticulously composed and portrays a unique personality from each subject. Sprinkled within the portraits are a few landscape shots that are equally wonderful and as much as I loved the portraits, I felt the landscape shots were high art.

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Davide Faggiano captures some bizarre and even a little disturbing portrait photographs. The ‘black’ series, one of which you can see above are definitely striking. Via Acidolatte.

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Can fashion photography or rather fashion-inspired photography be clever and lyrical? Dan Monick seems to think so. Now I am thinking about getting the same tattoo on my chest.

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