Two hundred and thirty eight

Gloss

2008 by Ann Pitkin
Acava Open Studios; http://www.annpitkin.com

Gloss is a large pencil drawing; imposing in size, yet quietly restrained in the simplicity of its medium. There is something striking about such a traditional medium, that of a detailed pencil drawing, swelled to almost life-size and presented so abstractedly. The usually miniscule shading and tonal detail are effectively under the magnifying glass as we become privy to each individual hair and highlight. The sketch becomes not a quick and documentary drawing, but a glorified and enlarged composition. The abstract design of the hair, lifted from the head onto nothing, only encourages this, celebrating the hair for its terrific form as well the triumph of execution. The hair cascades down in waves, hyper-real in three dimensionality, all glossy shadows and gleaming highlights. The outline the mane creates mirrors the shining movement of  hair itself, shimmered downwards and glistening, standing out on a background of nothing. It appears alive, carried by our instinct to try and place face and personality to the void the lack of person has left. Cleverly, the hair hints at the shape of this missing profile, ovalling out round the face and falling gently down the shoulders. However it is only to be imagined as a haunted space; hair is our focus here and it takes on a domination of its own, almost chillingly so, glimmering in its unnatural sheen.

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