The lifesized, realistic portraits crafted by Joel Daniel Phillips currently inhabit the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in the new exhibition “Charcoal Testament.” With pencil and charcoal, the artist’s subjects have moved between the impoverished and the reality and the aftermath of nuclear testing near the Western coast.
Armed with charcoal and graphite, Amandine Urruty continues to craft scenes packed with characters and surprises in every corner. In recent works, the artist’s Victorian sensibility gorgeously renders both human and pop-cultural figures alike. Urruty was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 44.
In illustrator David Álvarez’s recent charcoal works, the night is a character that walks the countryside. “I Dreamed I Was the Night” is the name of that latest series, a collection that will presumably comprise another story for the Mexico-based artist.
Felix Dolah uses diluted charcoal to craft his minimalist, ghostly drawings. These figures, often gangly and dilapidated, come in sparse singular or as heaps of crowded, writhing characters. Elsewhere, he applies the same material to photographs, adding grim accents to archival images. He’s said that although early in life, he drew knights and monsters, “now I draw more monsters than knights.”
Cape Town artist Michael Amery shares his concerns about human impact on the environment in his series of drawings, Trees by Man. In charcoal, pen and India ink, the artist depicts forests grown for commercial use, much like the ones found in his native South Africa. A graphic designer with a background in advertising, Amery is interested in how consumerist culture is tied to man’s exploitation of the natural world and its effects on our planet’s vulnerable ecosystems.
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.