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Joe Fenton

Graphics – one of my favorite trends in art. Clear lines of the precise drawing, tiny details that can be viewed for a long time and with pleasure – that’s what I love. A brilliant representative of such a method to express thoughts is Joe Fenton.

He is a talented American illustrator from Brooklyn, NY. Joe was born in London, graduated the London University of the Arts in Wimbledon, which specializes in artists, designers and entertainers, but he studied sculpture.

Then, Mr. Fenton began working in the film industry for the positions of designer in such studios as Disney and Miramax. A little later, he moved to New York and began creating illustrations for children’s books, for which he received several high honors. Moreover, he entered the twenty finalists, who were chosen from thousands of applicants from all over the United States and whose works were presented in the International Exhibition of Art “Miami Art Basel” in Miami.

The artist is inspired by early surrealism (Hieronymus Bosch and Bruegel) and graphics of the last century; he uses motifs of Eastern philosophy and Middle Eastern architecture, elements of  European Baroque and Rococo in the complex frame ornamentation and tiny details of the drawing in general. Joe Fenton creates incredibly complicated drawings that can be watched for hours. But he also spends a lot of time for them – up to several months. He also admits that the painting for him is not just a hobby or entertainment; he lives a whole life while immersed into the work.

I thought it would be wrong to say that he depicts death; to my mind, it is a separate peculiar another world – we see its development in each successive picture of the artist. Although, Mr. Fenton explains that his drawings depict his unhealthy fear of death.

“This might seem strange, as I am not a religious person and I am not entirely sure whether I am mocking religion by having references to it in my work or if it comes from a deep desire to experience and explore what it has to offer.”

Joe created the “Solitude”, one of his most famous works, for 10 months, 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. An amazing picture of the unbelievable sizes was a result of nearly a year of work and a couple of dozen used up pens. It is 1.5 meters high, 2.43 meters in length.

He was creating it in parts, layer by layer – at first it was an ordinary graphite pencil, which was used for the contours, then – ballpoint pens. Finally, after 10 months of hard work, the author has put a thin layer of acrylic paint of black color over the inks of the ballpoint pen, and then the picture was finished!


The Arrivals – 2012

The Lullaby - 2011

  The Lullaby – 2011


Solitude – 2010/2011


Solitude – 2010/2011 (work in progress)

Genesis - 2010

Genesis – 2010

The Joyriders - 2011

The Joyriders – 2011

Pater - 2014 (work in progress)

Pater – 2014 (work in progress)

Pater - 2014

Pater – 2014

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