Famous faces in a crowd: Intricate artworks see big screen stars recreated in paintings of dozens of tiny figures
At first glance these celebrity portraits appear to have been created from aerial photographs of dozens of people.
But a closer examination of this series, by Atlanta-based artist Craig Alan, reveals that the tiny figures were actually painted into place.
Mr Alan, 40, has created paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elvis Presley, as well as the Statue of Liberty, with his realist technique.
Small people, big star: This portrait of Marilyn Monroe by Atlanta-based artist Craig Alan may look like an aerial photo, but is actually created with dozens of tiny painted figures
Flight of fancy: Mr Alan’s series, which includes a second piece featuring Monroe, was inspired by some photographs he had been taking from a sixth-floor balcony
The intricate paintings are predominantly black-and-white, with just a flash of red in the lips of the Monroe and Hepburn pieces.
His painstaking efforts are well-rewarded though – a single piece from the ‘Populous’ series can sell for up to $50,000.
The artist says he first came up with the idea after after taking photos of the street from the sixth floor of an apartment block.
High art: Audrey Hepburn is among the stars featured in the portraits, which can sell for up to $50,000
The Elvis Presley piece shows the late music legend’s face recreated with hundreds of tiny figures. Each has its own shadow making the photographic effect even more convincing
‘I was at my mother’s apartment in Alabama watching people on the beach from the sixth story balcony,’ he explained.
‘I started photographing them and then I noticed a pattern through the camera.
‘In one shot, the group of people appeared to have formed an eye on the screen – this started my creative wheels turning.’
Mr Alan says the decision to recreate familiar celebrity faces was an easy one.
Crowd-puller: Even the Statue of Liberty has had the Craig Alan treatment, completing the series
‘Portraits always came easily to me, so it was only natural that the two should be combined,’ he said.
And the positive response to the works has been a thrill.
It?s rewarding for me as an artist to watch people?s reaction to my work and to see them get such enjoyment out of it,’ he added.