8 Contemporary Portrait Artists Who Are Reinventing One of Art’s Oldest Subjects

More Contemporary Portrait Artists


Clement Mmaduako Nwafor

Nigerian artist Clement Mmaduako Nwafor creates large-scale paintings on canvas using oil paint and collage. After a two-year apprenticeship learning from two master sculptors, he decided to begin painting in 2011. Surprisingly, the artist began showing his extraordinary talent from an early stage and it only took him six months before he began selling his work. Today, Nwafor focuses on mixed-media works that depict women and children in colorful, patterned Nigerian head wraps known as gele.


Joshua Miels

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Australia-based painter Joshua Miels creates vibrant, multi-layered, large-scale portraits that capture human emotion. Using a palette knife and thick daubs of oil paint, his highly textured pieces exude powerful energy and visualize the vulnerability of his subjects.

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Emanuele Dascanio

Italian artist Emanuele Dascanio creates incredible monochromatic portraits using graphite and charcoal. Taking around 780 hours to complete each piece, the talented artist’s hyperrealistic compositions are influenced by his time assisting Italian painter Gianluca Corona, who taught him the oil techniques of the old Renaissance masters. Dascanio’s works feature subjects illuminated in light, highlighting every strand of hair, textured wrinkle, and fabric fold.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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