Illustration

Section



Art Illustration

More Than 90 Artists Create Original Works on Vintage Envelopes for 'Couriers of Hope'

January 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

By Andrew Hem

What brings you hope? That’s the central question behind a new group exhibition presented by Port City Creative Guild. Couriers of Hope boasts more than 120 original pieces from more than 90 artists—the list includes Rosanne Kang Jovanovski, Andrew Hem (previously), Sean Chao (previously), and Yoskay Yamamoto—all rendered on vintage envelopes. Prompted by the mail art movement of the 1960s, the exhibition features an eclectic array of watercolor, pencil, and mixed-media illustrations that transform the miniature canvases into the artists’ vision for the future, whether through relaxed otters, peaches, or vivid portraits. Many of the works prominently display original postmarks and stamps and serve as a reminder that communication doesn’t have to be digital.

Students from Long Beach Unified School District have the opportunity to acquire one of the envelopes by trading their own response to the artists’ same prompt, with the guild providing art supplies for participants to ensure that everyone has access to the initiative. The show was curated collectively by a Long Beach Museum of Art, Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Space, Flatline, Inspired LBC, The Icehouse x Ink and Drink Long Beach, Arts Council Long Beach, Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum, Compound LBC, and the Creative Class Collective.

Couriers of Hope will be on display in the windows of the Psychic Temple of the Holy Kiss in downtown Long Beach and on the guild’s site for virtual viewing from January 19 to February 28, 2021.

 

By Sean Chao

By Megan Boterenbrood

By Adam Harrison

By Bodeck Luna

By Christine Yoon

By Hilary Norcliffe

By Judy Kepes

Left: By Jonathan Martinez. Right: By Kelly Yamagishi

By Narsiso Martinez

By Rosanne Kang Jovanovski

By Sean Chao

 

 



Art Illustration

Minuscule Scenes Appear Against the Backdrop of Used Tea Bags in Watercolor Paintings by Ruby Silvious

December 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Ruby Silvious, shared with permission

From her studio in Coxsackie, New York, Ruby Silvious (previously) repurposes the thin paper pouches holding her beverage of choice into miniature canvases. Sometimes strung together or ripped to remove the leaves, Silvious’s tea bags depict the quiet, unassuming moments of everyday life: Passersby trudge through the snow, masks hang to dry, and two women meet for a swim on the naturally dyed backdrops. The artist generally keeps the string and tag attached, matching the mundane subject matter with the material’s ritualistic origins.

Following her 2019 release Reclaimed Canvas, Silvious is working on another book and preparing for upcoming solo shows in France, Germany, and Japan. Shop prints on her site, and follow her soothing works on Instagram and Tumblr.

 

 

 



Illustration

Dreamy Illustrations by Daniela Gallego Merge Human Experiences with Fantastical Images

December 17, 2020

Christopher Jobson

Colombian illustrator Daniela Gallego takes us on a delightful journey through a world tinged with magic and brimming with plants. Her subdued color palette enhances the effect, firmly planting each of her drawings somewhere between fantasy and reality. The Barcelona-based artist creates works for children’s picture books, editorial, and corporate clients, and produces some of her own prints or calendars that you can request on Facebook. Explore more of her work on Behance. (via Booooooom & Hi-Fructose)

 

 

 



Illustration

Energetic Lines Circulate Through the Dynamic, Vibrant Portraits of Martin Satí

December 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Martin Satí, shared with permission

Just as a ceramicist would smooth the harsh edges of clay, Martin Satí renders the supple contours of a subject’s face with sweeping motion. Thick drops of color form the light of a cheekbone or eyelid crease, and the swirling lines that overlay the Seville-based illustrator’s portraits add a dynamic element. Through implied movement, the expressive works capture the subjects’ energy and momentary expressions.

Satí shares that his practice, while digital, similarly molds facial features as a sculptor would. Despite using impalpable tools, he says that his “material is like semi-liquid and is difficult to model but at the same time is very rich in movement and liveliness… I work with this material, which I usually call ‘Silicone Pie,’ as an artisan works with ceramics. I am modeling the colors with lines of movement until I achieve an optimal level of detail.”

Explore more of Satí’s energetic portraits on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Intense Emotions Overwhelm the Figures in Stefan Zsaitsits's Graphite Illustrations

December 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Stefan Zsaitsits

Despite their uncanny elements, the black-and-white worlds of Stefan Zsaitsits (previously) deftly encapsulate the ennui and angst of modern life. The meticulously cross-hatched scenes depict solitary figures in states of psychological stress as they wrap their bodies around docks, cry profusely, and find themselves stuck under a thundercloud. Some of the lethargic, anxiety-ridden figures literally are overwhelmed by the atmosphere or shown putting on a happy face.

Zsatisits recently compiled 21 illustrations in a collection titled Wherever, which is available for purchase on his site. All works are 21 x 21 centimeters and printed on 350 gram/meter² cardboard. Explore an extensive collection of his earlier pieces on Instagram and Behance, where he also shares a behind-the-scenes video of his process.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Subversively Elegant Portraits of Indigenous People Drawn on Repurposed Ledgers by Artist Chris Pappan

November 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Axiom” (2016), mixed media on ledger, 16 x 16 inches. All images © Chris Pappan, shared with permission

In his mixed-media portraits, Chicago-based artist Chris Pappan draws on the tradition of ledger art, a practice that flourished among Native populations throughout the Great Plains from around 1850 to 1920. Rooted in narratives, the renderings depicted the ways of life of Indigenous people and the nuances otherwise left out of mainstream conversations. “The mid-19th Century was a tumultuous time for the Indigenous peoples of America; the doctrine of Manifest Destiny brought deep pain and suffering but it also introduced new modes of expression,” says Pappan, who is a citizen of the Kaw (Kanza) Nation and of Osage, Lakota and mixed European heritage.

Using graphite, colored pencils, ink, and water-based media, the artist illustrates black-and-white portraits on a variety of intentionally sourced materials, like municipal ledgers and mining certificates. One artwork (shown below) features five mirrored figures imprinted on Boy Scouts of America neckerchiefs that offer commentary on the destructive practices of the youth organization by recreating appropriated imagery. A similar piece, “Of White Bread and Miracles,” evokes the illustrations in the manual Here Is Your Hobby: Indian Dancing and Costumes, which the group often used to teach its members. “The book is an example of cognitive dissonance as it erases any vestiges of contemporary Native people and homogenizes all Native American cultures while making casual remarks such as ‘…get a local Indian to teach you singing and dancing if you can…,'” Pappan writes.

 

“Welcoming the New Dawn” (2018), mixed media on Evanston municipal ledger, 18 x 36 inches

Despite invoking historical references, the artist imbues his figurative renderings with visions for the future. The lowbrow movement—particularly the melding of technical ability with taboo subject matter—influenced much of his earlier work. More recent projects have honed in on issues of systemic racism and appropriation of sacred objects, which Pappan hopes inspires viewers to question their own complicity. “I’ve always felt it important to understand boundaries (or rules) so that one can break them and then be able to redefine culture in our own terms. (Native American) Culture is living, and we have the responsibility of its continuity,” the artist says. He expands on the idea:

Through the medium of indelible ink, I am asserting our identity and our continued existence in the face of attempted erasure and negating the centuries of racist misrepresentations… In the re-appropriation of an object that may have been considered sacred to some, I hope to impose a sense of what Native people feel when we’re confronted with sacred objects or the bones of our ancestors displayed as macabre entertainment for capitalism.

Pappan is represented by Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe. If you’re in the Chicago area, his ledger art is on display in the windows of 1100 Florence in Evanston through December 4, and “Scout’s Honor” is part of the group show, The Long Dream, which is on view at MCA Chicago through January 17, 2021. Otherwise, stay up to date with his subversive projects on Instagram and his site.

 

“Scout’s Honor” (2020), ballpoint pen on vintage Boy Scout neckerchiefs, approximately 100 x 20 inches

Left: “Quantum” (2020), mixed media on embossed Evanston municipal ledger, 36 x 18 inches. Center: “Land Acknowledgement Memorial” (2019), digital image, public art installation in Austin, Houston, Chicago, Toronto, and New York City, 33 x 22 inches. Right: “Of White Bread and Miracles (Shield)” (2020), mixed media on Evanston municipal ledger, 36 x 18 inches

“See Haw Thwarts and Alien Invasion from the West” (2019), mixed media on Evanston municipal ledger, 18 x 23 inches

“Displaced Peoples” (2014), acrylic and mixed media on wood panel, 40 x 30 inches

“Atom Heart Mother (Earth)” (2016), mixed media on ledger, 16 x 10 inches

“La Sauvage” (2016), mixed media on mining certificate, 9 x 7 inches