There are subject matters that are fairly easy to take in and
those that need more time to understand and a willingness on the part of the
viewer to move out of his or her comfort zone. Works that artistically represent
intense events--like violence or tragedy--are especially powerful when they merge
they way they are created with what they are representing.
A drawing from Sophie Jodoin's "War" series.
I first came across Sophie Jodoin's work in Drawing magazine several years ago. Her "War"
series was the topic of the article and the works shown were severe. Maimed figures;
shadowy, threatening figures with guns; huddled groups of what look to be
mourners--Jodoin's drawing ideas revolved around war and finding artistry in its
objects, victims, and perpetrators.
But Jodoin's drawing art also leaves a lasting impression
because of the way the works are drawn. The anonymous violence that war often
brings is echoed in her work by her drawn figures, which are also
anonymous-faces covered, placed in shadow, or purposefully smeared out. All
that is left is the acts-and the remains.
|Bathtub scene by Sophie Jodoin, drawing.
These are no easy drawings to create. The tension in
Jodoin's work doesn't just come together. It is obvious the artist is well
versed in her chosen medium and knows how to site a composition on the page for
the biggest impact. Simple drawings in terms of composition, that's true, but
that just means every part of it has to be purposeful and well thought out.
Jodoin is also skillful at gradation. Using stark black and white as well as
gray, she gives dimension to her forms with relatively little--just Conte on
Jodoin's works are a good reminder that art hasn't kept
itself relevant through hundreds of years because it is content to sit on its
laurels. It is always growing and changing. And I've found that artists have
pivotal moments in their work when they work out ideas that aren't easy to
tackle--and they do it through it an intimate way of working like drawing. Jodoin
is one of many artists who work this way, and if you want to explore her work
and others, browse through the Drawing, American Artist, and Watercolor magazine issues that are
on sale now in the Artist Daily Store.