This is the center piece in the Angels With Dirty Faces triptych by Joe Black. From afar, it seems like some fine use of unique brush strokes, color and shading…from up close, one discovers it is made of 8,000 individually spray-painted soldiers on aluminum with resin coating.
From the artist bio:
Black combines his natural craft skills with a love of materials – many of which are recognizable everyday objects – to create portraits and abstract works.
Using a laborious technique of hand painting and altering each tiny object to give gentle lines and shading to his subjects, Black has pioneered an elaborate new form of pixilation that he uses to hid subtle implications within each of his images.