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First Hyperrealistic Portrait of Harriet Tubman Makes Debut

A Los Angeles painter has debuted the first hyperrealistic portrait of Harriet Tubman at the 2021 Aku World exhibition at the Art Basel event in Miami, Florida.

The 74 X 60 oil painting features a high-definition artistic rendering of the former enslaved woman and abolitionist, most notably known for helping the free Black people from bondage.

@jadeyasm Instagram

Jade Yasmeen Jarrett, 26, graduated from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg with a bachelor of arts in Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies, specializes in fine oil art. Her focus according to a 2019 interview with VoyageLA, is to portray people of color and women in a beautiful way by painting them in a three-dimensional effect that captures every detail. This style that she has embraced is called “hyperrealism.”

Hyperrealism was developed out of the 1960s-art style called US photorealism. Coined in 1973, hyperrealistic painters use “photographic images as a reference source,” but add their own creative splice to the image to add a more “definitive and detailed rendering” that presumes to convey a deeper emotion than the original.

Jarrett, who paints under Jade Yasmeen, wants her hyperrealism art to not only hang in spaces but hopes it “speaks and breathes into the air around it.”

This year at Art Basel, she made a huge splash with her latest work in this style titled, “The Pain Below.”

Jarrett’s caption read, “Well. This feels unreal. I’m standing next to the first hyperrealistic portrait of Harriet Tubman in COLOR! @artbasel Miami 2021. Funny enough it also so happens to be painted my me.”

The painter stood in front of her masterpiece in the IG post. She added, “I chose Harriet as a way to commemorate the past. Our ancestry is so rich and deserves to be preserved. That’s my goal as an artist. To continue the legacy of those that came before myself and others. This is a moment in time I’ll never forget.”

She also thanked the two curators of the Aku World exhibition, former MLB player Micah Johnson and the Art Angels Gallery, for including her in this year’s show.

Another work entered into the exhibition was another oil portrait of Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to ever go into space. This piece is even larger than the Tubman work, logging in at 88 X 70 inches.

“Let’s not forget about Mae.. I’ve always looked up to Mae Jemison as a little girl because I recognized that she pushed the status quo. The first African-American woman in space! 🤍 on the first the multicultural crew as well,” she wrote. “these icons deserve their flowers. Without them we wouldn’t know how limitless we are. Under an extreme time crunch I was able to include her into this show as well. And rightfully so.”

Both works are currently for sale through the Art Angels gallery.

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