THE BALLPOINTER

    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.

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THE BALLPOINTER
Original content © The Ballpointer / Mahozawari Unlimited.

​​​​​    PICK PIECES   The Ballpointer staff choose the artwork and let the artist explain it in their own words   Vol 3 No 5  posted June 13, 2016

Andrey PoletaevLugansk, Ukraine

Art Mechanica   2016 ・ 76 x 61cm (30 x 25'') ・ ballpoint pen on paper 


2015  PICKS  page archive MENU

FEB2015~NOV2015click the BALLPOINTER graphic (left) to access the full 2015 menu

illustration by Susan May for The Ballpointer

James Mylne, 1999   London, England

''Art Mechanica is one of my latest drawings as well as the beginning of the new series featuring imaginative work that will be created in parallel to the Urban Cityscapes. Drawing with a ballpoint pen in the area of  Cityscapes  is incredibly time and energy consuming. When I finish one complex piece I like to unwind and temporarily switch to something new to set my imagination free. I wanted to create a piece featuring mechanics and at the same time I wanted it to be unique. The entire train didn't interest me, but certain components of the train such as the wheels did. The wheels by themselves would be boring and uninteresting. A body was created followed by other components to logically tie this  train-humanoid  into a mechanically capable machine. As a result Art Mechanica was born. Each artist's work carries a certain sense, but everyone sees it in their own way. Some may find a whimsical mechanism that could be started by giving it a kick in the rear, others may look for something more profound. I don’t attempt to embed deeper meaning and prefer that you, the viewer, find it for yourself''      

Be sure to visit www.poletaevart.comArtwork © Andrey Poletaev

Lennie Mace   Tokyo, Japan

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:

Pepe Lozano   Cordoba, Spain

Guy Woodard   New York, New York

Matt Rota   Brooklyn, New York

Gareth Edwards   Stourbridge, England

M.I. Shaikh   Mumbai, India

​​​​​​RECAP   originally posted in installments throughout 2015

Andy Warhol @ Christie's  online auction series, 2015 

Read archived coverage of Warhol ballpoints put up for sale

Lennie Mace, 1984   New York, New York

​​​​Shane McAdamsBrooklyn / Wisconsin

​​Pen Blows  (slideshow)・All artwork  2016  12 x 12'' (30 x 30cm)  ballpoint pen ink & resin on panel


''Four new Pen Blows hot off the press.

After a run of shows this winter, I've

decided to take some time to experiment,

play with materials, and basically make

some mistakes that will hopefully turn into

something worthwhile in the future. So the

studio is in mad scientist mode at the

moment. I have paper marbling basins

set up all over and about five new tree

pieces incubating in various stages of

gestation. I did manage to make a series

of Pen Blows that I'm really happy with.

In this series I was trying some new

techniques, different ballpoint pens and

methods, and caught a little bit of lightning

here and there I think. I had some really

good luck with a batch of archival black

ballpoint pens that a German office supply

distributor sent me, Unfortunately, they no

longer make these pens (and I don't have

their brand name) so I'll have to use the

800 or so cartridges sparingly. I also had

some really good luck with Bic Crystal

pens. I used more ink than usual, blown

out pen by pen — my cheeks hurt still —

and used UV protective urethane resin to 

leech out the pigment. The results were

really diverse, but it was my hope to mix

it up a bit and get some new events. 

Hopefully these and the other experiments

I am working on now will grow into mature

works, but it may take a few months'' 


Be sure to viisit www.shanemcadams.com 

McAdams'  Super Natural  exhibition in Sheboygan, Wisconsin continues through September 11, 2016.  All artwork © Shane McAdams

  EDITORIAL  by R. Bell  originally posted October 27, 2014

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 
・・・

A Year in The Pen  The Ballpointer  Nov 2014 - Nov 2015   PICKS  of the Litter 2015

Eric Seaholm   Tokyo, Japan

Peter Ross   Hong Kong