Exquisite photorealism is only half the story with Miami artist Ashley Oubré's stunning greyscale illustrations, often of nude figures lying prostrate or face down on the ground, picture-perfect images of loneliness, abandonment, and grief. By layering graphite powder and India ink meticulously one after the other, she captures the little details that bring the sadness of her subjects to fruition. The bags under a young child's eyes. The discomfort evident in an older woman's hunched spine. Each person is an island, fading into an ocean of white.
This metaphor is furthered in her Jellyfish series, a translation of humanity's emptiness into the isolated, stagnant lives of the titular sea creatures. Rather than a metaphorical ocean of white, these jellies navigate a literal one. And yet, like their human counterparts, there is undeniable beauty in these lonely life forms. Both series seem to ask, begging for an answer, "Is the beauty of living worth the sadness of being alone?"
See more of Oubré's work on her website, and her cheerier side on Instagram.
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