Mosaic Portraiture of the Sunspot

Featured here are three pieces from a series of mosaic portraits by an artist that lives aboard the Sunspot.

In recent generations, this has been a popular form of art for youngsters to explore form, color, and expression. And also as a general way to show appreciation for their loved ones.

To an Earthling, these may look like stylized images of monsters, animals, or spirits, and they are indeed abstracted. However, they are usually illustrations of actual people, usually neighbors, friends, co-artists, and family members of the person who has made the mosaic.

The frame is usually made from some kind of metal substrate, chosen for its color and constructed using preset specifications in a maker. Some artists do prefer to make the frame out of other materials, or to hand cast it. The artist will then acquire handmade glazed ceramic tiles from another artisan, make them themselves, or have the maker also construct them. Various materials can be used for grout, but nanite clay is plentiful and can be programmed to self clean and maintain the piece of art until it’s time to recycle it.

Some of these pieces are already two or three centuries old, and can be expected to survive a millennia or more before being replaced by something else (usually at the request of the person who it represents, if they get sick of having this representation of their face hanging around).

According to Sunspot tradition, one usually asks permission to use someone’s likeness in a work of art, so these pieces are rarely a surprise. The abstracted style typical of them also affords a layer of privacy, making it harder for most people to instantly recognize who it’s supposed to be.

But, since it is widely known what these pieces are for, when most people encounter a collection of them hanging on the walls of a house or a building, they know someone is celebrating their social connections.

Colors and size and number of tiles can vary dramatically. Size and shape of the frames, and therefore also the shape of the tiles, also varies a bit, but five, six, and seven sided polygons filled with triangles are by far the most popular. A lot of Sunspot architecture feature these shapes, so artwork that incorporates them tend to fit in best. Elongated septagons with full body portraits have also been made.

This artist has chosen to work with a small pallet of colors for this series, so that they are unified and may indicate that they belong together, signifying members of a household.

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