Every fine artist’s work can usually be placed within a category that sums up their style perfectly. But what do you do when you don’t fit into just one category? Cue frantic research.
For decades I’ve been creating art without burdening myself with which art movement my work belongs. I’ve always seen my work as surreal, but I don’t express dream worlds and visions exclusively free from conscious rational control only. The art that I make is representational of the original object’s existent form. So that must make me more of a Figurative artist, but I don’t paint the human form. I create work that is sometimes just conceptual and emotional. I suppose all art comes from conceptualization and abstract ideas and even photographic reference.
Although I’ve used different mediums, I keep going back to graphite. No other medium feels as comfortable to me as my trusty pencils. My style is somewhere between the dark and whimsical scale. It probably has to do with my love for black and white and greyscale imagery. Am I a Surrealist or a Conceptual Surrealist, or a Realist with hints of Dark Art?
So I’ve looked at other artists throughout history, to try and recognize my style. I started with Francis Picabia because he shared the same date of birth as me: 22 January. But Francis was more of an avant-garde painter who experimented with Impressionism and Pointillism. I have experimented with the same styles as well, but it didn’t stick. I moved onto Photorealism and Hyperrealism, but it’s very time-consuming and restricted the images I wanted to bring across. Then there is Salvador Dali. I admire his work, but mine does not look anything like his. I don’t want to copy other artists, I have my ideas, with a unique point of view and with a unique way of creating.
The closest description I can find is Figurative Surrealism: a mental representation of a human or animal form which has no intention of being logically comprehensible. But that won’t be true for me, because I also draw still objects. And my art is more realistic and it gives a sense that what you are seeing is in fact very real, but there is something off about it: it’s either too dark or too pale or slightly distorted. So that makes it Surreal Figurative Realism? That’s a bit of a mouthful. I need something catchier and shorter. Maybe I’m getting closer to Outsider Art. Cue some more frantic research. I’ve read through the entire Dictionary and found myself at the edge of the internet to get a single word that sums up my art:
- Emotive: Expressing the artist’s feelings and inspiring emotion in viewers.
- Artistic Pluralism: Diversity of art movements that are all-encompassing diverse cultures.
- Abstract Realism: The marriage of 2 contradictory terms without reference to real objects.
- Contemporary Realism: figurative works executed in a raw objective style, without the distortions of Cubist or Expressionist interpretation. Contemporary Realists deliberately rejected abstract art, choosing instead to depict down-to-earth subjects in a straightforward naturalistic manner also known as Representational Art.
- Idiosyncratic: art that is peculiar to the individual artist, in its originality and meaning.
- Macabre: the quality of having a grim or ghastly atmosphere. Macabre works emphasize the details and symbols of death.
- Lowbrow: underground visual art movement originally from Los Angeles in the late 1970s. A populist art movement with its cultural roots in underground comics, punk music, tiki culture, and hot-rod cultures of the street.
- Magic and necromancy: Conjuring the spirits of the deceased or demonic entities while sipping herbal tea and burning incense.
- Whimsy: Playful, fanciful, light and airy with a dash of fairy dust and bubbles.
- Creepy-cute: Kawaii, creepy, but also a little endearing in some way.
If I could mix all the ingredients above in a large cauldron, I’d have to conclude that my art is Bewitching Decomposition.
Who knows, maybe over the years my style will change dramatically, seeing that I’ve already started using softer blending and less rough textures than five years ago.