TYPE FACES BY SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ

by Ariadna Zierold

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Samuel Rodriguez is a San José, California based artist whose work has shown in public art spaces, museums, companies, galleries, internet, and editorial publications. Rodriguez was self-taught for a number of years through graffiti until he later pursued a Bachelor in Fine Arts from California College of the Arts.

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He has since blended what he absorbed from both opportunities to create his current aesthetic. Rodriguez is known for two kinds of portrait styles that he calls, “Topographical Portraiture” and “Type Faces”.  Topographical Portraits, are made by stylizing a portrait with topographical lines and shapes in a similar manner to those found through images on geographic maps. Type Faces, incorporate typography and portraiture. Rodriguez developed these techniques in order to explore his interest in social, historic, and cultural hybridity.

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LITERARY ADVENTURES BY ANDREW DEGRAFF

by Ariadna Zierold

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Andrew DeGraff is a freelance illustrator and artist living and working in Maine. Andrew was born in Albany, NY and spent his little league years upstate. He graduated from Pratt Institute’s Communications Design program with a focus in Illustration in 2001, and he returned to Pratt to teach illustration from 2009 – 2014. He recently published his first book, Plotted: A Literary Atlas from Zest Books.

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DeGraff approaches each story differently and crafts maps that truly tell stories. It’s not always easy to paint the mental picture you want if the narrative is complex, or if the writer has built a world that is incomprehensible in scope. Thanks to his talent, now you have a new way to envision some of your favorite fictional places.

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MULTIMEDIA WORK BY LOUIS REITH

by Ariadna Zierold

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Dutch illustrator/designer/artist Louis Reith produces work with a multimedia focus. His portfolio is equally full of sculptural pieces, mixed media collage and more traditional inks on paper – he can pretty much turn his hand to everything.

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While communication is his primary aim in his graphic work, in his drawings, collages and sculptures Reith seeks tranquility. Through typographic forms on old book pages and the use of maps, Reith creates a world of mountain landscapes and suggestive abstract forms.

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THE CITIES OF BEN SACK

by Ariadna Zierold

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Check out the incredible pen and ink drawings by artist, Ben Sack. He draws the dense, intricate details of fictional cityscapes: buildings, roads, rivers and bridges. The architecture found in Sack’s artwork spans centuries, from gothic cathedrals to towering skyscrapers, underpinned by patterns of urban sprawl reminiscent of European cities with a healthy dose of science fiction.

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MOUNTAINS AND SKYSCRAPERS MADE FROM MAPS AND BOOKS

by Ariadna Zierold

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Blocky skylines made from stacked books dominate one side of the gallery in Chinese artist Ji Zhou‘s new show at Klein Sun Gallery and first U.S. solo show, Civilized Landscape, while crinkled maps become mountain ranges on the other.

“My concerns lie in why more and more cities are becoming visually identical and boring in their cityscapes.” 

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Ji Zhou specializes in capturing ephemeral ideas and moments in beautifully composed photographs. For example, after a fire in his Beijing studio coated it in ash, he responded with Dust (2010), a photo series in which every surface is colored with monochrome, ashy grey. In Civilized Landscape, he responds to the construct of civilization as a whole.

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The “Maps” portion was improvised and sculpted straight from Zhou’s imagination, while the “Maquette” cityscapes are the result of meticulous planning. Zhou sees books as “channels to receive and accumulate knowledge,” while maps are two dimensional repositories of information: “My opinions on cities and civilization mainly comes from books I’ve read,” he says, “Associating maps with landscapes is almost an innate relationship to me, a theory probably be caused by my teenage dreams about the world.”

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