Ben Sack’s drawings posit his viewers above sprawling megalopolises. As we gaze down, thousands of buildings appear to go on for miles: Sack painstakingly renders each detail with pen and ink. Judging by the time lapse videos he posts of his pieces, he seems to draw them freestyle without much pre-planning. The process video of his recent piece, Chronoglyph (pictured above), reveals Sack filling in loosely sketched circles with elaborate line work. With each drawing standing close to human height, Sack’s work invites viewers to get lost in the many nooks and crannies of his fantasy cities.
French artist Amandine Urruty’s busy graphite drawings overflow with humorous characters. Dog-faced people, sausages painting at easels, floating teeth, and tiny bed sheet ghosts run amuck in her whimsical worlds. One can spend a long time gazing at her drawings and examining each oddball creature. Though the artist’s typical work is monochromatic and small-scale, she recently tried her hand at a large, colorful mural in Zaragoza, Spain. Take a look at some of her recent work below.
Emerging artist Lauren Marx explores the intricate process of decay with her surreal and often grotesque drawings and paintings. Animals become enmeshed in each other’s flesh as tendons and sinew rip apart, exposing their innards. While the subject matter often triggers an initial reaction of repulsion, Marx’s ornate line work and graceful compositions are pleasing to the eye. Take a look at some of her latest work below.
Self-taught artist Christo Dagorov creates multi-layered drawings in which scenes appear to melt into one another. In his “Skylines” series, translucent urban landscapes manifest in spirit-like ways over placid beach scenes. The interplay between nature and urbanity asks viewers to image a place’s current state and what could have been. Dagorov’s use of acute gradients gives his work a nearly sculptural level of depth. His series of monochromatic drawings titled “Lips” also melds various images, this time constructing surreal, hellish visions in the shape of human mouths.
New York illustrator Frank Magnotta’s hyperactive graphite drawings brim with visual onomatopoeias. Intricate block letters connect the complex mechanical parts of surreal structures, which, like Rube Goldberg machines, appear too cumbersome to be functional. The textual elements of his work evoke advertising and design, but the slogans he chooses send conflicting messages that bombard the viewer with information. Magnotta’s portrait work is similarly Frankenstein-esque. Each of his dense, grayscale drawings stitches together a variety of elements that the viewer must pick apart to fully understand the contents of each image.
Barnaby Whitfield’s portraits are rendered with acidic shades of chalk pastel as if illuminated by a strange, disorienting light source. His characters’ pallid skin glows with an almost fluorescent shade of white and the wrinkles, bruises, and redness on their faces is especially accentuated. Their vulnerability manifests in the form of physical scars.