Portland based artist Jon MacNair (covered here) didn’t actually enjoy sketching at first, but he kept at it and his daily drawings are what influenced his style today. Working mostly in ink, his monochromatic drawings of demons and other creatures derived from animals are decidedly mystical. Some of the themes running through his art’s veins include magic and rituals, man and beast, anxiety, journeys, isolation, night, and communication. Last night at Antler Gallery in Portland, he debuted a new series of drawings and shadowbox pieces, as well as an expansive floor to ceiling mural installation.
Paris-based Korean artist Jung-yeon Min (first covered here) draws fantastic and organic landscapes from her imagination. Jung-yeon self-describes her personality as “eccentric”, relying heavily on her bizarre visions, a combination of science and dreams. Working primarily in hand-drawn pen and ink, her images play on concepts of scale and juxtaposition between peace and turbulence, fantasy and reality.
First featured here, Seattle based artist Olivia Knapp creates cross-hatched pen and ink drawings influenced by old European woodblock engravings. Specifically, Knapp pulls her inspiration from 16th through 18th century blocks, which were in all genres including religion, art, history, science and medicine. She borrows ideas from medical illustrations for her current exhibit at Hellion Gallery in Portland, “Prehensility”. The title refers to the quality of an appendage adapted for grasping, for example, as a monkey’s tail has adapted to grasping to a branch. The show is an extension of Knapp’s previous works in both style and theme, where she explores a relationship between psychology and biology in the context of one’s environment.
Japanese artist Yasuto Sasada, just 27 years old, has already made a name for himself in the modern art and fashion world, through his collaborations with Yohji Yamamoto. Sasada has his own visual language that combines cultural traditions with the future. His detailed pen drawings of creatures mix motifs from modern technology and religion. Their black and white tonality, achieved with a thin 0.3mm pen, is harshly contrasted against bright pink, blue, and green backgrounds. He’s created a new form of painting that juxtaposes old and contemporary ideas, taking us into an entirely new dimension.
Seattle-based artist Olivia Knapp conjures ornate arrangements of commonplace objects and anatomical parts in strange still lives that evoke the Baroque period. Though she received her eduction in fashion design from Parsons and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Knapp focuses her energy on the technical mastery of drawing with pen and ink. Inspired by centuries-old illustrations in scientific texts, she carefully studies the techniques of 16th-century master engravers, boiling her cross-hatching techniques down to a science to achieve a rich range of values and convincing depth.
A Medium is an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits. In art, medium refers to a mode of artistic expression or communication. For Australian artist Lucy Hardie, whose elaborate drawings explore spirituality and duality of nature, they are one and the same. Hardie is the great granddaughter of a Medium. A story that has been passed down is that her grandmother once walked into a séance and saw a person levitating. Inspired by her own history and personal experience, Hardie then combines symbols of life after death and awakening to capture that which connects us.