STARPOINTS  by K. Rie  posted October 13, 2017

All but the keenest viewers may have missed the many ballpoint pen cameos on screens big and small over the years. Ballpoints are regulars in Hollywood productions, and not just as set dressing... 

Pen Game

The Game  1997・Director David Fincher 
t​​​Early in the movie, jaded, haunted financier Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is waiting in an airport boarding area. A real-life, real-time 'game' is about to turn his life upside down. The game came via a gift-card presented to him on his 48th birthday by his younger brother​ Conrad (Sean Penn), who claims to have participated recently and recommends it. 
​​    Van Orton is given the impression that he failed an entry exam which would've allowed him to initiate his game, but we soon learn this is actually part of it. In a scene marking the unannounced start of Van Orton's game, two ballpoint pen-related phenomena make an appearance within less than a minute of screen time. 


Lennie Mace, 1984   New York, New York

Matt Rota   Brooklyn, New York

M.I. Shaikh   Mumbai, India

Gareth Edwards   Stourbridge, England

Shane McAdams   Wisconsin / Brooklyn

Holly Cappello   Portland, Oregon

Van Orton notices the man across from him is staring at him.

Guy Woodard   New York, New York

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.

Chen Zhen   Kaohsiung, Taiwan

MalOjo   Basque Country

    Since 2014

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 4 No 7  posted October 15, 2017

Alberto RepettiGenova, Italy

The Elemental Landscape  August, 2017 ・ 48 x 33cm (19 x 13'') ・ ballpoint pen on cardboard

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 ©

respective artists

Ler Huang   Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Peter Ross   Hong Kong

Dave Warshaw   San Diego, California

Pepe Lozano   Cordoba, Spain

Andrey Poletaev   Lugansk, Ukraine

Shirish Deshpande   Belgaum, India

Van Orton extends a 'Thank you' to the man and tosses the leaky ballpoint on the table as he rushes to the nearest washroom. Ballpoint cameo #2: It's a vanity ballpoint pen, emblazoned with a company name, in this case CRS; it's the name of the company which produces these 'games', Consumer Recreation Services

Pepe Lozano   Cordoba, Spain

Eric Seaholm   Tokyo, Japan

James Mylne, 1999   London, England

2015  PICKS  page archive MENU

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

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

Andrey Poletaev   Lugansk, Ukraine


last revised Oct. 15, 2017

Those kinds of promotional pens, otherwise seen as 'bad ' ballpoints, are actually the go-to pen for ballpointers needing to fill in large areas or lay down thicker layers of ink

Read more K. RieSTARPOINTS on the CULTUREDpage

''May I help you?'' Van Orton asks. The man offers no verbal reply, but sets his drink down and points toward Van Orton's shirt pocket. Ballpoint cameo #1: a leaky pen has left a blue ink stain (this is why they invented pocket protectors!). 

''Almost all of my ideas come from shapes suggested by nature. Here, I have pulled from a series of sketches related to the studies I've done on plants and grass, investigating the various layers of soil and how they behave in the presence of the wind; sparse or dense, motionless or bent by the air. I flowed those ideas into this work, spatially and intellectually re-elaborated, reorganized via constant dialogue between memory, evocative processing and graphic studies. A reinvention of reality. There are two large spaces left in white, like an elbow. These graphic pauses are needed to balance the design, especially when dealing with such descriptive themes, and help the alternation of forcefully executed lines to communicate with the more softly defined graphic elements. Many changes of direction and expressive force can be seen. 

I get very good results from my trusty Bic, held in a certain way with a minimum grip. Different areas of the design exploit all the different features of the versatile and expressive medium. There are areas where less definition is sufficient and others where meticulous work must be conducted with great patience. Pens that release more ink are as useful as those that release less ink, working as equals. I take this peculiarity into account and use the pens to my advantage to achieve the graphic effects I desire. A work of this size requires a full week of attention''

For more art, information & contact: Artwork © Alberto Repetti