Since 2014・Volume 5
Missing the Ball Point
Dimes-to-donuts there's a ballpoint pen within reach of you right now. Reliable friends, always there when you need them; on standby to scratch a Hitler mustache onto The President or blacken the teeth of the covergirl dujour. Your grade-school composition books were probably filled with more stream-of-conscious creative filler than actual studies. But this proletarian tool is no longer just for signing checks, writing postcards or doodling sweet nothings.
The origins of ballpoint artwork echo the humble origins of art itself. Caveman roots; the universal, instinctive urge to create. For some, an irresistible force; to express oneself, to leave one's mark, to teach, using whatever tools are available. All that's necessary is the will to do so, pressed by a bit of creative curiosity, aided by ingenuity. ''Let's see what happens when I do this.'' Galleries, museums and art critics enter the equation much later.
There you sit, a dozen-thousand years later, surfing through the daily barrage of viral news. A headline grabs you: Starving Artist Illustrates The Bible on his Bedroom Wall Using Ballpoint Pens. Well, ''starving artist '' doesn't mean much anymore; with the amount of aspiring artists art schools churn out every year its a miracle anyone goes onto a career. ''Illustrating the Bible ''? Hasn't that already been accomplished in any number of formats any number of times in any number of languages ? ''On his bedroom wall ''? Children cover walls with masterpieces daily, to their parent's dismay, worldwide. And ''using ballpoint pen''? Now there's a story, right ? Well…
News outlets worldwide still report about artwork created using ballpoint pens as if, in the half-century since its invention, the pens have never been given any artistic consideration. Prior to the advent of the internet and social media, their ignorance could be forgiven. Nowadays ballpointers are everywhere, in every corner of the world, and the so-called ballpoint Wow Factor in and of itself carries less weight. The internet and social media are these days awash with ballpoint art blogs of every stripe, although with varying content. Ballpoint art classes may already be part of a curriculum somewhere. But the birth of the internet didn't mark the beginnings of ballpoint innovation; if anything, it merely serves as proof of how commonplace it has become, or how it has been all along ・・・
EXHIBITIONPICK Peter Ross Hong Kong May 12—June 16
''This is devoted to all revolutions from 1917, which began in Russian Empire in that year and continues to today... 'The spectre of Communism', Karl Marx' expression about the political and social situation in Europe, is still actual to my mind not only in Europe, but in the whole world — lots of revolutions, putches, wars, horrible things. My work is a kind of warning for billionaires of all the countries to think over what is happening. The spectre of Communism is still alive. I depicted it as a hooded figure with Molotov Cocktail, burning in his hand.
The background is Moscow (Kremlin), Statue of Liberty in New York… Some details in the foreground: Coca Cola, contemporary pop symbol; Washington Post newspaper with 'Occupy Wall-Street' events... Also a newspaper about recent Ukrainian events with Nadiya Savchenko (the authorities now blame her in preparing of pro-Russian putch in Ukraine. She is in prison now under the investigation.
Background also shows features of communist revolution in Russia in 1917, contemporary life, the girl maybe celebrity, the image of a frightened billionaire, etc, the cracking world''・
For more art & information:
Artwork © Serhiy Kolyada
illustration by Susan May for The Ballpointer
No, the drawings presented here have NOT been ''defaced'' or altered in any way. The title of this new section, DE FACED, simply describes the fact that the artworks presented here have been pulled from social media posts such as facebook and, as such, therefore ''de''-faced, as it were. Some of the artists may be familiar to readers, but new faces will also be introduced here. These artists have not been notified of inclusion here, but every effort will be made to credit the artwork as they did in their original posts.
The content of this slideshow presentation will be revised regularly & randomly.
Listed by date, from most recently posted.
All artwork ©
PICK PIECES The Ballpointer staff choose the artwork and let the artist explain it in their own words Vol 5 No 3 posted May 13, 2018
Serhiy Kolyada・Kiev, Ukraine
The Spectre of Communism (Revolution 1917-2017) 2017-18 ・ 42 x 59.5cm (16.5 x 23.5'') ・ ballpoint pen on paper
last revised May 15, 2018