Monday, October 12, 2009

C.J. Pyle: Weaving His Way to Success

(Above) My Marie, 2009

13” x 12”

ink, colored pencil, and graphite on cardboard LP record sleeve

Click any image for larger view.

(Above) Midnight to Six, 2009

8” x 8.5”

ink, colored pencil, and graphite on found notebook paper

(Above) McKinley's Delight, 2007-2008

12” x 12”

ballpoint pen, pencil and colored pencil

(Above) Von Pleet, 2008

12-1/2” x 12-1/4”

ballpoint pen, pencil and colored pencil

Click any image for larger view.

(Above) Flora Dora, 2008

12-1/4” x 12-1/4

ballpoint pen, pencil and colored pencil

(Above) Doolittle Special, 2007

8-3/4” x 8-3/4

ballpoint pen, pencil and colored pencil

(Above) My Coals are Cold, 2007

10” x 9”

ballpoint pen, pencil and colored pencil

Click any image for larger view.

(Above) C.C. With Hat, 2007-2008

12” x 12”

ballpoint pen, pencil and colored pencil

(Above) Sugar, 2007-2008

12” x 12”

ballpoint pen, pencil and colored pencil

(Above) Lu, You Got a Thing About You, 2007 - 2008

12” x 12”

ballpoint pen, pencil and colored pencil

MONTE BEAUCHAMP, FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF BLAB! MAGAZINE, HAS DISCOVERED AND BROUGHT TO THE FOREFRONT OF THE ART WORLD MANY TOP ARTISTS. If you are a fan of the magazine, which is the gold-standard showcase for professional artists, illustrators and comics, you’ll know that I am talking about such luminaries as Chris Ware, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskop, Camille Rose Garcia, Joe Coleman, The Clayton Brothers, Shag, and others. One such artist is C.J. Pyle, an artist who was recently picked up by the Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago. Being represented by Carl is a nice big feather in any artist’s cap. Pyle, born in 1956 in Richmond, Indiana, uses found paper and a ballpoint pen for the major part of his work. What he has developed, besides some extraordinary portraits, is a drawing technique that uses a “weave” technique.

Pyle says his style developed when he was a musician, when he played rock clubs from the mid-seventies into the early nineties. Said Pyle: “As a traveling musician, there’d be down time because of sound checks, breaks, traveling, etc. and I would while away the time perfecting the weave.

Pyle goes on to say: “I had never seen anything like my woven-knot technique before I developed it, so there was no inspiration for it, really. I just loved the act of drawing and had been drawing consistently since about age 12. I guess if you do something that much over the years you might discover something, and I think that I did.

As a child, Pyle loved the detailed ink work of Basil Wolverton and also loved making rope knots—Pyle says he tied hundreds of them—and became fixated on the weave of the rope. “It was those two inspirations that somehow found its way into my personal artwork many years later; they’re the foundation for my work.

Pyle says he likes making two-color portraits. “I don’t really know why, I just do. As a kid, drawing faces is what I fixated on. I also find creating an image with limited color much more challenging than one created with many colors.”

C.J. Pyle is represented by the Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, and his works can be purchased by contacting the gallery. Pyle has an opening reception of his work (“Kilroy’s Delight”) this Friday, October 16 from 5:30 - 8:00 P.M. The show runs through November 28, 2009.


Momo Luna S!gnals said...

I love them, they're strange, but great!

The pale observer said...

Bizarre, but captivating. I also have a fixation with faces.

You always find the most interesting stuff! :)

Joey said...

These are great and an artist I never heard of before. Basil Wolverton makes sense and a little like Jim Nutt on acid!

Dan Z. said...

Wow, I love these! What is exactly his "weave technique" though? Is it an actual process of just the trompe-l'oeil of the texture?

John Foster said...

To Joey and Dan:

His "weave technique" is simply a style of drawing, like coiled rope or twisted string or hair. For sure, references have been made to Jim Nutt, but I think he is out there on his own with these. What you see is all flat... just his style gives the effect of dimensionality... tromp l'oeil, if you will.

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