Since 2014・Volume 4
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.
Guy Woodard New York, New York
Chen Zhen Kaohsiung, Taiwan
M.I. Shaikh Mumbai, India
Dave Warshaw San Diego, California
2015 PICKS page archive MENU
FEB2015~NOV2015 click the BALLPOINTER graphic (left) to access the full 2015 menu
illustration by Susan May for The Ballpointer
Pepe Lozano Cordoba, Spain
A Year in The Pen The Ballpointer Nov 2014 - Nov 2015 PICKS of the Litter 2015
Matt Rota Brooklyn, New York
Lennie Mace Tokyo, Japan
MalOjo Basque Country
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 ©
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 ・・・
Peter Ross Hong Kong
''The Least Powerful Passports is included in my exhibition Closing Borders at Serlachius Museums, Mänttä, Finland. The exhibition is about Europe fortifying its borders with concertina razor wire against immigrants and refugees. The drawing is made on the letterhead paper of a hotel in Melilla, a Spanish exclave in Northern Africa. The border between Melilla and Morocco is in sophistication and strength second only to the one between North and South Korea.
The power of a passport is measured calculating its visa-free score, which is the number of countries that allow the holder of that passport entry without requiring a visa. Germany tops the list with 159 points and the Afghan passport is at the bottom, granting free access to only 24 countries.
The passport image is from a photo found on the internet. At home we have only Finnish and Spanish passports! It's impossible to say how long it took to complete this drawing. I work with ideas. Making the actual drawing takes maybe a couple of hours but it's just one part of the work''・
For more art & information:
The Least Powerful Passports is featured in the exhibition Closing Borders, now on display. See the Ink Blotter listings on the BACKPAGE・
Artwork © Riiko Sakkinen
Holly Cappello Portland, Oregon
Lennie Mace, 1984 New York, New York
Eric Seaholm Tokyo, Japan
Shane McAdams Wisconsin / Brooklyn
Andrey Poletaev Lugansk, Ukraine
PICK PIECES The Ballpointer staff choose the artwork and let the artist explain it in their own words Vol 4 No 2 posted May 2, 2017
Riiko Sakkinen・Pepino, Spain
The Least Powerful Passports 2016 ・ A4 21 x 29.7cm (8.5 x 12'') ・ ballpoint pen, colored pencil, felt-tip pen on letterhead paper
last revised Apr. 9, 2017
Pepe Lozano Cordoba, Spain
RECAP originally posted in installments throughout 2015
Andy Warhol @ Christie's online auction series, 2015
Shirish Deshpande Belgaum, India
PICKS PAGE ARCHIVES2016: Read about these artworks in the artists' own words in The Ballpointer PICKPIECE archives. Click on the artwork to see their PICKPIECES.
PICKS PAGE ARCHIVES 2015:
Andrey Poletaev Lugansk, Ukraine
Gareth Edwards Stourbridge, England
James Mylne, 1999 London, England
Ler Huang Kaohsiung, Taiwan