PENNAME by R. Bell posted September 7, 2017
Liner Notes C.J. Pyle・Indianapolis, Indiana
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News, Reviews & Coverage of the Artists using Ballpoint Pens, the Artwork They Create, the Tools They Employ & Other Equally Newsworthy but Overlooked Art & Cultural Topics, Worldwide.
INPRINT by X. Xxx posted March 1, 2016
Ballpoint pens are used here with as much accomplished confidence and as much a part of any polished process as peers of any designation, making Pyle's methods just as 'mainstream' as the next. Multiple rounds of sketches lead to a desired image, then out come the ballpoints and off he goes, focussing on a section at a time. This ''draw, erase, draw, erase'' process, explains Pyle, ''can be one drawing session or can take a week or so to complete.'' Black ballpoints are usually reserved for facial depictions, but red and blue are employed occasionally to depict and help distinguish between hair and clothing. Additional mediums, mostly standard and colored pencils and gouache, are applied last. Gouache provides much of the textured, fabric-like planes forming the collars, headpieces and even canine companionship in many of Pyle's newest. To achieve those kinds of textures, one initial layer of gouache is overpainted with a darker layer. After drying, masking tape is used to strategically remove sections of the darker top layer. Nothing 'outsider' about it; all techniques which have been employed as long as there's been paint, adhesives, Picasso, galleries and ballpoints.
Artwork, from-the-top : Kentucky Hug ballpoint pen, pencil & colored pencil.
Gigolo (center left) ballpoint pen, pencil, & gouache. Pharoh ballpoint pen, pencil, colored pencil & gouache. Baby Talk (bottom) ballpoint pen, pencil & gouache.
All artwork 12 x 12'' (30.48 x 30.48cm), 2017, on verso of LP cover © C.J. Pyle
Since 2014・Volume 4
Pyle's re-imaginings and/or deconstructions even share qualities with Picasso's post-Cubist, Modernist twists on the human face — think Marie-Thérèse, or Dora Maar — and he admits affinity as an artist ''looking inward as the source, as opposed to depicting outward objects''. Pyle's style is often compared to the 'spaghetti and meatballs' stylings of cartoonist Basil Wolverton, whom he includes among his youthful influences. ''It relates to distorting and exploring abstract ways of depicting portraiture,'' says Pyle. No 'outward object ' (i.e. Grannie's crocheting kit) has ever been utilized as reference in achieving Pyle's own 'abstract ways', which he feels ''evolved in a natural way the more I explored the possibilities''. Says the artist: ''It almost seemed as though I had stumbled on a different dimension, or a different way of seeing.'' 'Exploring the possibilities' succinctly sums up Pyle's method of ''automatic drawing'', with every drawing session becoming a kind of visual jam session, the artist a one-man-band. ''I start with the blank page and no preconceived ideas,'' explains Pyle, who usually has music playing in the background throughout the process.
Art and music have gone hand in hand throughout Pyle's life; he has been a professional drummer since the age of sixteen — ''while still in high school,'' he asserts — and also spends more of his quality time among musicians than visual artists, finding more in common with his network of ''supportive'' musician friends with ''wicked wonderful senses of humor''. Work as a musician has also taken Pyle ''all over the globe'' although he continues to live near his hometown in the little-big-city and unlikely art center of Indianapolis, Indiana. World art capitals aren't the only places where art is made, or exhibited, but Pyle has made appearances in some: aside from Chicago, he also shows regularly in New York and Los Angeles. Outside of the U.S. he has also exhibited in Sydney, Australia (2013), and Paris, France, at the Halle St. Pierre Museum (2014), which also happens to be known as a supporter of 'Art Brut' (a.k.a. Outsider Art). Pyle's work was also among the standouts in the book Ballpoint Art (Trent Morse, 2016), which showcased some masters of the medium but also a share of head-scratchers・
Another Slipping Glimpser opens at Carl Hammer on September 8, 2017. No backstage pass necessary.