All images provided by the Rijksmuseum
Rijksmuseum, an arts and history museum located in the heart of Amsterdam, is asking visitors to put down their cameras and pick up a pen next time they enter the museum’s walls. Rijksmuseum’s new campaign #startdrawing wants to slow down observers, encouraging attendees to draw sculptures and paintings that interest them rather than snapping a picture and moving on to the next work in quick succession.
By slowing down the process of observation, the visitor is able to get closer to the artist’s secrets, the museum explains, engaging with each work by actively doing instead of passively capturing. “In our busy lives we don’t always realize how beautiful something can be,” said Wim Pijbes, the general director of the Rijksmuseum. “We forget how to look really closely. Drawing helps because you see more when you draw.” The museum has begun to highlight drawings completed by participants on their Instagram as well as their blog associated with the campaign here.
Banning cameras (or softly dissuading attendees from using them) is also a way to bring the focus from the selfie an attendee may take with a work of art to the masterpiece before them. A perfectly timed exhibition titled “Selfies on Paper” is currently on display in the museum — 90 self-portraits from well known artists from the 17th to 20th century spread through each floor of the museum. The exhibition shows how artists captured themselves on paper while acting as a challenge to those who might have thought selfie sticks were the only tool appropriate for self preservation. “Selfies on Paper” will run though the winter. (via Hyperallergic)
Inspired in part by his graphic-designer friends disparaging comments about the lowly ballpoint pen, artist Ray Cicin took it upon himself to collect all their discarded pens and embarked on this drawing of a mammoth octopus. The piece is inspired by German naturalist Ernst Haeckel’s famous illustration of squid and octopi, and is part of Cicin’s ongoing Deep Blue series. You can follow more of his work on Instagram.
Deep Blue, Octopus. Ballpoint pen on archival Bee Rag paper, 62 x 64 inches
Artist Nicolas V. Sanchez fills entire sketchbooks with drawings of the world around him rendered in precise color ballpoint. Portraits of families page by page, sprawling scenes of rugged farms and livestock, and near photographic recollections of people and places from residencies in the Dominican Republic and China. Sanchez often explores the roots of his own identity, delving into a bi-cultural upbringing that spans from the American midwest to his family’s rural history in Mexico.
In addition to his exacting pen work, Sanchez is also a painter and works in a distinct style that’s quite different from his ballpoint pen sketches. The sketchbooks help him work through ideas to determine if they eventually meant for a larger canvas, or if they’re meant to exist only in the pages of a book.
Filmmaker Jesse Brass recently sat down to talk with Sanchez in his New York studio for this interview entitled Resolve.
English artist Ed Fairburn (previously) uses vintage road maps and star charts as canvases for drawn portraits. Cross-hatched patterns and shaded regions inside roads, borders, and rivers assimilate into the contours of faces, as if the images had always been secretly hidden in the map’s topography. “In his hands, both built infrastructure and natural phenomena echo the organic human form,” shares Mike Wright Gallery. “National highway systems become capillaries, and the tangle of Paris’ alleyways become the wrinkles that give the face history and individuality.”
Fairburn opens a new show of work alongside artist John Wentz today at Mike Wright in Denver.
Hungarian artist Benze produces intensely detailed ink drawings by fusing aspects of tattoo art and objects from the natural world, components the artist views as an important way to continuously open his work to new meanings and interpretations. The excruciating detail achieved through stippling and cross hatching with fine pens is stunning whether viewed in its entirety or zoomed in on various sections—simultaneously existing on a macro and micro level.
“Each work has its own gravitational field which irresistibly forces us to zoom in, explore more, discover new aspects within the whole,” says Benze.
The content of his drawings typically involves female faces with ornate head pieces adorning the women’s hair. Natural elements make up these decorative pieces, including objects like flowers, grasses, twigs and posed animal skeletons.
You can see more work from the artist on his Behance page here. (via Scene360)
San Francisco-based artist and illustrator Karla Ortiz works by day as a concept artist for Marvel Film Studios, but in her spare time also produces surreal fine art illustrations rendered in graphite. Seen here is a timelapse of a new piece that will be on view later this week as part of a new body of work titled Omens at Thinkspace Gallery.