There is something serenely quiet and peaceful about these brushed-on graphite drawings. Maybe it’s the way their simple, yet carefully chosen subjects are arranged: floating in a field of white canvas… or maybe it’s the way the objects are rendered with such a subtle, muted pallet. While the drawings mostly lack strong visual contrasts, sharp objects like scissors, rose thorns and potentially painful bee stings give many of the images an unusual quality of visual softness with a subjectively sharp edge. It’s beautiful, and at the same time, slightly un-nerving.
The images were created by Virginia raised, Brooklyn based artist Langdon Graves. Over the past 10 years she has honed her unique, ethereal style, translating it into both drawing and sculpture. Her sculptural works are unique in the way that she takes common forms and materials, and transforms them into objects which look almost like something with a purpose, but fall short of real usefulness. Much like things seen in a dream, they make perfect sense until you wake up.
Graves’ is currently being featured at the Affordable Art Fair in New York (hurray for accessible art!), and previously was shown with her partner Nick Van Woert at the What Works show, which featured exhibits by couples who make art. You can see more about her work here.
“What I do isn’t only about what I end up making — I do a lot of reading & research, and synthesizing the information I find to be interesting is a considerable part of my process. The hands-on part takes the form of either drawing or sculpture. For the drawings, I work mostly with graphite and pastel on mylar.
I like .3mm mechanical pencils best for line work and I also use loose graphite applied with brushes to create very smooth textures. Intricacy and exactness are important to me because I’m asking the viewer to accept unreal relationships of real things.”