Joseph Loughborough Studies the Human Condition in Haunting Charcoal Drawings

by Margot BuermannPosted on


Joseph Loughborough is a British artist currently based in Berlin. His haunting figurative works, made with charcoal and gold leaf on paper, draw inspiration from philosophers Albert Camus and Søren Kierkegaard to explore notions of struggle, isolation, and absurdist belief as they relate to the human condition. Check out more of his work on his Tumblr and Flickr.



Loughborough’s drawings communicate a sense of psychological unease and darkness. Quick, expressive mark makings appear almost frantic, as if they were scratches upon the artist’s paper canvas. In charcoal and gold leaf, men and women are depicted with deconstructed faces, stripped of their clothing and at times reduced to skeletal frames. Some subjects hold one another and exhibit faraway gazes as if grappling with the revelations of their existence.


“I have always intended [my work] to be revealing, honest and expressive,” the artist told Filler Magazine. “Some of the pieces act like a personal exorcism through which I try to express, rather than deny, the emotions I encounter. Through my drawing, I strive to grasp a comprehension of the human condition and question how we interpret our oft-untold fears and desires.”



Loughborough was born in 1981 and spent his formative years in Portsmouth, on the south coast of England. After studying illustration at Portsmouth University, he has lived in London, Paris, and currently Berlin, pursuing his interests in art, philosophy, and skateboarding culture. His work has recently been exhibited at Nomad Gallery in Berlin and Anno Domini Gallery in San Jose.

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