The art of working with unexpected surface types to create creative magic

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Art that works with its environment to add beauty to a surface that otherwise wouldn’t be viewed with such a perspective is challenging. When done well, you not only appreciate the finished piece, but you admire the craft and vision of the artist. I suppose you could call this art a form of sculpture. The difference is that the surface types that these sculptors have to work with are significantly more vast than was the case with their classic counterparts.

I stumbled on two artists who play with surface relief, each taking a different approach, but both creating masterpieces that you can’t stop gazing into. The work has such detail that you are mesmerized by the overall picture but are drawn in by the incredible detail that was required to achieve the overall piece.

The first artist is called Alexandre Farto or Vhils (see his website here). He is currently in London and his work on clay surfaced walls is absolutely stunning. He chips away at the clay to expose the brick beneath and in doing so creates an exceptionally real and beautiful portrait. Have a look.

The second artist is called Ed Fairburn (see his work on Facebook here). He works with country maps as a canvas for drawing his portraits. He works with the details around mountain relief, road markings, country borders, as lines that will play a role in the end drawing. The result are pieces that you want to explore because there are multiple stories embedded in the piece – the story of the art and the story of the areas that brought to life the art. Have a look.

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