A couple of weeks ago, Pejac shared a simple window drawing on his Facebook profile, as a tribute to legendary French high-wire walker, Philippe Petit. The drawing was done using acrylic on a window glass to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. This simple idea, captured on camera by his friend Silvia Guinovart Pujol, shows the riskiness and fragility of the art of tightrope and is a great example of the Spanish artist’s style: simple, minimalist yet effective.
Jon MacNair opens windows into cryptic worlds with his monochromatic pen-and-ink drawings. His work has a decidedly vintage, if not medieval, feel. The artist renders elaborate depictions of self-created myths and legends, but rather than being grandiose, the tone of his work is self-aware and humorous. Demons and shamans mug for the viewer while performing rituals and spells. Some of his drawings show gratuitous, cartoon violence akin to that of heavy metal album art and skateboard graphics. MacNair has a solo show opening at Portland’s Antler Gallery this Thursday, August 28, titled “Age of Enigmas.” In addition to his own work, the exhibition will feature MacNair’s collaborations with five other artists he admires: Jennifer Parks, Trudy Creen, Mark Burt, Ian Anderson, and Michael Hsiung.
James Roper processes the chaos of urbanity with his multilayered drawings. A simultaneous ode and social criticism, his latest body of work fixates on a cast of archetypical LA residents — an artist, a porn star, a gang member, a homeless “bag lady,” a celebrity publicist, etc. Roper’s exhibition “The Insceding Spiral” recently closed at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco — his first solo show in two years. The artist, who is also a script writer and filmmaker, imbues his drawings and paintings with narrative elements. But Roper doesn’t help viewers navigate the hectic hustle and bustle of city life — instead he puts the crazy on full volume, producing cacophonous images where translucent forms vie for our attention.
Working in the tradition of Italian Renaissance masters, the Milan-based artist Giuseppe Ciracì creates careful renderings of human anatomy, using pencil, oil and acrylic. Many of his pieces have an unfinished feel; often the faces of his human subjects appear half rendered in a detailed chiaroscuro, while the other half is left in white silhouette, as though the artist got distracted halfway through or were merely creating preparatory sketches.
While Rob and Christian Clayton (collectively known as the Clayton Brothers) are known for their color-saturated paintings of surreal characters, the artists shed their polished veneer in favor of quick drawings with a sense of immediacy for their upcoming show, “Open to the Public” at Mark Moore Gallery in LA. For the exhibition, the artists studied the peculiar microcosm of Sun Thrift Shop, a local second-hand store where trash becomes treasure. The Claytons present a series of assemblages and works on paper based on their documentation. They utilize not only found objects found at Sun Thrift, but sketches of customers who become warped through the brothers’ lens. Similarly to the ways thrift store shoppers find ways to repurpose used items, the Clayton Brothers offer a fresh perspective on what could easily be written off as shabby and mundane.
“I think that there is a lot to point out, and to work against in daily life, particularly with respect to American culture,” said Dane Patterson in an interview with Art Plural Gallery, where he had his last solo show in 2013. “We are creatures of habit and we can quickly fall into routine. We’re rarely aware of the way we compartmentalize everything in our lives, or have had things defined and compartmentalized for us.” His graphite drawings begin as documentations of daily life — but they evolve into strange hybrids of images intended to stir up the ritualistic qualities of our mundane existence. Patterson works from photographs in a process he describes as sculptural. First, he stages a scene, shoots it, and then combine the resulting photographic image with other sourced material to create a meticulous, surreal pencil drawing on paper.