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.
Although billed as a mixed-media series — ''conceptual work'' as Poletaev sees it — some drawings were created exclusively in ballpoint (MM-2017-58, pictured), but he is leaving more hatched line-work visible, thinning the layers of lines as the scenes fade to white at the edges or into the distance. He is still drawing recognizable cities such as Venice, but now the canals his gondoliers navigate are rendered with Impressionistic modesty (MM-2017-21, pictured), and the kinds of cable cars familiar from many of his Cityscapes are now shown trolleying through settings less clearly delineated (MM-2017-54, pictured). It's not the first such instance of ballpoint Impressionism, but Poletaev is just as successful in these less-is-more depictions as he is when he is inking a full page. At A4 letter size, the Miniatures are less than half the size of his Cityscapes, meaning less real estate to cover on the blank page. Furthermore, what the artist is not drawing in the new series is now often just as much a part of the compositions as what he is drawing. The sparse, snowy landscape of MM-2017-58 shows the white of the page making up more of the drawing than any of the mediums employed. The results constitute a kind of Poletaev Light.
The classic quality of the new Miniatures gels with Poletaev's conventional approach to art. Drawings of ballerinas (MM-2017-42, pictured) could just as easily date from the 19th century or earlier. The artist is just as old-school in his let-the-work-speak-for-itself reticence to speak at length about his own art. That's still the case with this new portfolio, so we can't rightly tell you why we're suddenly walking with
camels across sand dunes (MM-2017-70, pictured), watching polo matches
or sailing (MM-2017-49, pictured). Luckily, Poletaev's artwork has always
been self-explanatory. A certain mood may be set by the Impressionistic
touch, but the picture is the picture; camels, horses, boats — Poletaev
doesn't even assign titles. ''The gallery or viewer can attach their own titles,''
he says of the series. Poletaev's choice of subject matter has always been
safe, to be sure — one can easily imagine prints of these works decorating
the walls of fine hotels in the heart of any of the cities Poletaev has
presented — but it is also free of pretense. What you see is what you get.
Artwork, at right & below-right : MM-2017-49, MM-2017-4, both 2017, ballpoint pen, graphite & watercolor on A4-size watercolor paper, 21 x 29.7cm (8.27 x 11.75'').
Below : Pedestrian Crossing 2016, ballpoint pen on paper, 73 x 55cm (30 x 22'').
All artwork © Andrey Poletaev・For more art, info, contact: www.poletaevart.com
PENNAME by R. Bell posted May 13, 2017
TITLE ・DATE ・MEDIUM ・SIZE
Poletaev Light might not be enough for longtime fans spoiled to his richly detailed Cityscapes, but the artist promises more of those, too. One of his most recent, Pedestrian Crossing (2016, pictured), shows Poletaev continuing to do what he does best: ballpoint precision in every shadow, reflection and architectural detail. Contemporary art enthusiasts with overly intellectualized tastes might require more than what is offered in Poletaev's Miniatures — many of which are now with an American representative in Nashville, Tennessee, awaiting exhibition — and there are already apps which alter photographs in similar ways, but that's where the ballpoint 'wow' factor comes into play, trumping modern hi-definition computer-programmed effects with good ol' hands-on mastery of the pen, even when there's more paper than ink・
INPRINT by X. Xxx posted March 1, 2016
Since 2014・Volume 4