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Portrait of Andy by Lolie Darko

Putting a spin on the movie title Donnie Darko, Lolie Darko, a French street artist who drifts back and forth between London and Paris is a rising talent; combining realism with caricature illustration. The exaggeration of the subject’s facial features is a common occurrence in Darko’s portraits, as appearing in Portrait of Andy. Much of this artist’s work is a projection of their opinions on consumerism, humanity, body confidence, and animal welfare, often outlining societal issues, even sometimes appearing to dip their toes into pop culture ‘fanart’.   ->

Darko’s street art in particular seems to be the most emotive and eager to contribute to using art as a means of bringing about social commentary –  the wide-eyed, sad-faced children that appeared in her first solo show in 2017 named La Fete Triste are somewhat haunting and uncomfortable to look at.

 Compared to Portrait of Andy, it seems that it is in Darko’s artistic style to make the subject of her portraits look forlorn, distant, or sad. Andy’s large brown eyes glisten, her mouth is slightly downturned perhaps in contemplation or sadness – for an artist to be able to capture such emotion in what otherwise might appear to be a basic expression, is truly amazing. Furthermore, the merging of caricature illustration and realism painting has been cleverly achieved, making Darko’s work feel unique and separates her from being another portrait artist.

Words by Chloe Copley