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Kyle Cobban

American, b. 1987

Kyle Cobban is a Chicago-based fine artist and high school art teacher in the city’s South Side. Cobban’s visual language evolved from years of observing his students as they grappled with the challenges of navigating their personal narratives. Working primarily in pencil, Cobban creates subtly surreal images that evoke both the strength and vulnerability essential for inner metamorphosis. Each drawing is an illusion of many beings compressed into one as hands and arms float around the core of each figure, searching for their center. Prioritizing line and tonal qualities, his realistically-rendered characters are contrasted with the emptiness of their white backgrounds. The juxtaposition of these static environments with more rhythmic features results in a subdued sense of movement within the works. Cobban often obscures the faces of his figures, creating a metaphorical mask that disrupts the typical power dynamics of subject and viewer.