Artsy Insight: Pixelated Portraits

“If at first we see the fantasy, airbrushed and gleaming, we are also confronted with the dreamers of this fantasy,” Rashid Rana once said. His works, depicting iconic Bollywood stars, only register as composites upon second glance. Like the portraits of Cameron Gray and Chuck Close, Rana’s pixelated creations are composed through the collective assembly of individual units—in Rana’s case, through the montage of thousands of tiny photographs of local Pakistani men, suggesting the complicated relationship between individual and collective national identity.