Bisa Butler’s Fabric Portraits

WORDS Michaela Stehr IMAGES via

Using a wide variety of different patterns and fabrics, New York-based artist Bisa Butler creates colourful quilted portraits.

Layering vibrant textiles, each piece is brightly coloured, creating technicolour works of art featuring subjects from throughout history.

“I often start my pieces with a black and white photo and allow myself to tell the story,” explains Bisa on Claire Oliver, her gallery’s website. “My stories are told in the fabrics that I choose, the textures I combine, and the colours that create a whole new composition.”

Bisa’s portraits aim to tell potentially forgotten stories. “When you see vintage lace and aged satin it tells you the story of delicacy and refinement of times gone by,” she says. “When you see African printed cotton and mud cloth it tells the story of my ancestral homeland and the cradle of civilisation. When you see multi-coloured organza and netting layered you are being told a story of something or someone colourful and multifaceted.”

See more of her work on Instagram.