Using ballpoint pen, Helena Hauss draws scenes that she says are “about self-acceptance through self-deprecation and satire.” The process is laborious for the Paris artist, who has said the choice of pen is deliberate in its stubbornness. The below work, “Afternoon Delight,” took 300 hours to complete.
In Mario Maplé’s ballpoint pen drawings, the artist moves between conventional beauty and the grotesque. The works are deceptively complex in their elegance, the soft lines of the subject the result of tedious work in ink pen. The artist will also occasionally mix in watercolors to emphasize his distortions.
Rebecca Yanovskaya uses ballpoint pen and gold leaf to craft mythological retellings and otherworldly narratives.The Toronto-based artist moves between personal gallery work and illustrations. Among her influences, she counts “decorative arts, neoclassical and Pre-Raphaelite arts, and theatrical costuming.”
There’s a reason Hi-Fructose keeps tabs on Tokyo artist Shohei (aka Hakuchi) Otomo (featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 20). The only son of great manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo, the acclaimed writer and director of the anime cult classic Akira, Hakuchi carries on his father’s legacy with his own graphic illustrations that combine Japanese iconography with a dark, retro-punk edge and a healthy dose of sardonic humor.
Nuria Riaza has an interest in anachronistic visuals — the elegant, female profiles with low-slung chignons and the elaborate facial hair fashions of yore. Her ballpoint-pen drawings — which span impressive lengths, sometimes nearly human scale — strip these elements found in old family photographs away from their contexts. She slices them up as if they were collages, using pens instead of scissors to remix the photorealistic elements. Marble-smooth skin adopts the literal qualities of the material, swirling with a monochromatic pattern of blue and white. Faces become transformed into kaleidoscopic visions, as if we were viewing them with insect eyes. The artist and illustrator does not dwell on the past: She appropriates it for her hallucinatory visions of a bizarre future.