A Single Note / 48″ diameter, 150″ (12.5 feet) circumference
With meticulous determination and a steady hand, artist Ben Sack picks up a black 0.05 Staedtler pigment liner pen and begins to draw the dense, intricate details of fictional cityscapes: buildings, roads, rivers and bridges. He draws until the ink runs out and picks up another pen. And another. And another. Sapping the ink from dozens of writing utensils until several months later a canvas is complete. His most recent piece, a vast circular drawing titled A Single Note (top), has a 12.5 foot circumference. It staggers the mind.
The architecture found in Sack’s artwork spans centuries, from gothic cathedrals to towering skyscrapers, underpinned by patterns of urban sprawl reminiscent of European cities with a healthy dose of science fiction. If you look carefully you might even recognize a familiar landmark here and there. He shares as his influence some thoughts on “western antiquity”:
Its this sort of image that I think most people, if not all of society have of western antiquity; stainless marble facades, long triumphal avenues, monuments to glory. In actuality, the cities of the past were far from idealistic by today’s standards. Yes there was marble, lots of marble, and monuments galore, however these urban centers were huddled together and unless you were considerably wealthy, life in dreamy antiquity was often a heroic struggle. Though the societies of antiquity were bloody, dirty and corrupt the idea of antiquity has come to represent some resounding ideals in present society; democracy, justice, law and order, balance, symmetry. These ideals are now the foundation stones of our own civilization, a civilization that some distant future will perhaps honor as antiquity.
Sack graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011 and has since had work numerous solo a group exhibitions, most recently at Ghostprint Gallery. And just this week he returned from a circumnavigation of the globe as part of a residence aboard the m/s Amsterdam. You can see more of his work on his website, and over on Tumblr. Prints are available here. (via Waxy.org, Laughing Squid)
“State of Massachusettes” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2014
“Wanderer above the sea of fog” (homage to Caspar David Friedrich) / graphite on paper 36″ x 36″ 2013
“Betrayal” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2012
“State of Alaska” / graphite on paper 36″ x 36″ 2014
“State of Nevada” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2014
“Lovers Film Proposal” / graphite on paper 24″ diameter 2013
“Early Warning System” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2013
“The Old Aristocratic Colors Break Through” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2013
Heavily influenced by both film and photography, artist Ethan Murrow creates grandiose theatrical narratives manifested as large-scale graphite drawings. The artworks are populated with adventurers, inventors and dreamers, in what Winston Wachter gallery calls “characters as outrageous innovators and absurd explorers capturing a sense of adventure, satire, fun and defeat.” Murrow’s latest works involve a series of drawings set in different American states for his show State Flag currently at Winston Wachter in New York through May 2014. You can see much more of his work here and on his website. (via Illusion)
For the past four years, 16-year-old artist Shania McDonagh has participated in the Texaco Children’s Art Competition, an art contest for children in Ireland held every year since 1955. Just looking at the astounding portrait above, it may come as no surprise that McDonagh has won the top prize for her age category every year since she was 12, and today snagged the top prize for the 2014 competition with this hyperrealistic drawing of a man titled Coleman.
The judging panel chairman, Declan McGonagle, director of the National College of Art & Design, remarked that the girl’s work could position her “as one of the most talented artists of her generation, and one whose skill could see her become one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists of the future.” We would be inclined to agree.
For her talent McDonagh snagged a $2,075 (€1,500) award which she will receive next month. You can read more and catch a video over at The Irish Times. (via PICDIT)
Update: The original photo was taken by James Fennell, depicting fisherman and seaweed harvester Coleman Coyne.
For this spectacularly detailed series of architecturally influenced drawings, Toronto-based artist Mathew Borrett labored with 005 Pigma Micron pens to create networks of compartmentalized dwellings that appear to be carved into the face of a cliff or dug into the ground with isometric perfection. Titled Room Series, the drawings were created in 2003, and Borrett continues to explore imaginary landscapes that appear gently influenced by science fiction and fantasy. You can see more of his work in his website and he has prints available on Fine Art America. Borrett also has a self-published book spanning the last decade. (via Artist a Day)
After 7 long months of obsessively scribbling away on a large wall, artist Sean Sullivan “threw in the towel,” in part because he had exceeded his allotted time period by 4 months! The resulting mural was “Grand Pale Maw,” an expansive wall drawing that encompassed the entire rear corridor space of LACE in LA. Grand Pale Maw—Sullivan’s first large scale mural—was on display only through January 2012 but thanks to these photos documenting the process we can still ogle over them. (via Lost at E Minor)
Texas-based graffiti artist Redosking draws fantastically detailed eyes using colored pencils. It seems like eyes are a common muse for illustrators working in the realm of hyperrealism but these particular pieces seem above and beyond the average attempt. You can also follow him on Instagram. (via Illusion 360)
Splayed across a giant paper canvas with pieces of charcoal firmly grasped in each hand, Heather Hansen begins a grueling physical routine atop a sizeable paper canvas. Her body contorts into carefully choreographed gestures as her writing implements grate across the floor, the long trails resulting in a permanent recording of her physical movements. Part dance and part performance art, the kinetic drawings are a way for Hansen to merge her love for visual art and dance into a unified artform. The final symmetrical patterns that emerge in each pieces are reminiscent of a Rorschach test, or perhaps cycles found in nature.