Working atop faded street maps, vintage National Geographic magazine covers, and decades-old stationery, London-based artist Mark Powell (previously) draws the wrinkled contours of his subject’s faces with a standard black Bic ballpoint pen. The weathered portraits of both famous and anonymous people reflect his antiquated canvases both in texture and tone as he traces the topographies of their faces across literal street maps or paper materials that have traversed the world. Powell’s drawings have grown in both scale and detail over the years, magnifying the impact and density of each piece. You can see more of his recent work on his website where he sells a number of prints and quite a few originals (via).
By recycling the envelopes, he is in some way preserving a bit of history and the tales behind the sender. He says this is why his work, which is primarily portraiture, focuses on older characters that appear to tell their own stories from the very creases and wrinkles of their faces (via).
Powell’s portraits are amusing in the way they incorporate the lines and postage stamps of the envelopes into the wrinkles and shading of each distinct face. Each portrait becomes as much about the canvas as it is about the person depicted, adding another layer to examine as the viewer gets lost in the eyes of the subject (via).
"Each portrait becomes as much about the canvas as it is about the person depicted, adding another layer to examine as the viewer gets lost in the eyes of the subject." I love that.
The dance between our lives and the canvas and the struggle of muddling through the many layers so as not to be lost, or thrown away with yesterday's trash, and forgotten.
This one might be my favorite.
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