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Drawing Ed Ruscha

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This project aims to discuss drawing as a method of bridging the void between digital imaging technologies and physical drawing in the fine art domain. It does so by investigating the role of drawing and printing in contemporary portraiture. Drawn and printed silkscreen portraits are made from a synthesis of graphite marks, digital pixels and water-based ink deposited on paper surfaces. The practice-led research described here explores the materiality of the emergent image when drawing is impressed on an electronic media trace. This investigation is timely in the context of the unprecedented impact of digital technologies on contemporary culture that tend to displace the physicality of drawing. By taking an approach to portraiture whereby artist and sitter do not meet in person, the project initiates a portrait of Ed Ruscha using the medium of video images. Digital electronic images held pixel by pixel in smartphone camera and computer hard disks are interpreted into physical drawing environments to make an expressive representation of a human form. Tactile gestural mark-making is contrasted with electronic imaging to create a pensive image where techniques are blended. The process and methodology are described, and the artistic outputs are shared across the globe through digital and analogue communication systems.
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Keywords: digital; drawing; materiality; pensive; portraiture; printmaking; silkscreen; surface

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000121802449Birmingham City University

Publication date: December 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice promotes and disseminates drawing research with a focus on contemporary practice and its theoretical context. This journal seeks to reestablish the materiality of drawing as a medium at a time when virtual, on-line, electronic media dominates visuality and communication.

    This peer-reviewed publication represents drawing as a significant discipline in its own right and in a diversity of forms: as an experimental practice, as research, as representation and/or documentation, as historical and/or theoretical exploration, as process or as performance. It explores the drawing discipline across fine art, science and engineering, media and communication, psychology, architecture, design, science and technology, textiles, fashion, social and cultural practices.

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