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ethan edvenson

Medium: Emerging Iowa Artist

Booth #: EIA 7

I primarily work with India ink, acrylic paint, and photography on different types of paper and wooden panels. Occasionally, I have used more unconventional surfaces to work on such as TV screens, board games, and wet floor signs. Many of my works are defined by their loose brushstrokes and line-work, usage of text, and unusual, but effective uses of color. I tend to prefer a loose, impulsive style when using ink and paint because the marks can be more expressive, it’s usually less time consuming, and it’s more exciting to make pieces. That isn’t to state precise marks aren’t fun, but there’s a certain level of discovery when you aren’t entirely sure what will happen which can cause new ideas to form. Plus, the photos and other collage material I use contain the more defined forms, creating a contrast between the ink and paint marks. When it comes to text, the words I decide to write in the work rarely describe what the imagery is about, but rather supplement the imagery with another layer of information to either clue viewers into the subject matter...or throw them off entirely.
My work mainly explores different aspects of paranoia, isolation, what’s in a name, and consumption of media with touches of humor sprinkled in. I regularly choose these topics because they’re constantly on my mind and I can use drawing as an outlet to tolerate and reflect upon these feelings. Visually, I depict these themes through filling a surface with abstract monuments and characters which come together occasionally with text to create a narrative scene. One method of doing this is to avoid using a landscape and place figures at varying sizes so they appear to be floating but still have a natural weight to them. Combined with vivid color choices, this creates an unfamiliar feeling and speckles the viewer with information. While this can draw some people away, others interested in deciphering the scene will feel intrigued. Another method I use involves drawing the same scene or object multiple times, each from slightly different angles and then collaging them together. I do this to make the viewer question what is real in the scene or create a sense of time progression.

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