Cristina NualART

Zoe Barker: Pencilling the past

Looking at Zoe Barker‘s work online, I can see another chunk of that very welcome and emerging trend in ‘proper’ drawing. That is, of old fashioned pencil on paper, accurate realistic representations, etc., etc. Do I sound like a Stuckist? I do value skill as much as ideas.

The trend -I wish I wasn’t so bad with names, but there was  a recent exhibition in Wanted Gallery in Notting Hill that featured another artist with pencil drawing skills and a retro look.

Ah, Mercedes Helnwein, I found the tweet!  The ‘style’, if I dare call it such, portrays a good deal of pseudonostalgia, as anything trendy does these days. I mean, for example, 40’s and 50’s ‘womanliness’ (structured suits, shoes and even more structured hair…), retro cars and toys, B&W films, all of that vintage stuff. Yes, it’s a classic, therefore, we must now look up to it. Maybe.

I’ve come across many drawings (and real women) that overdo the whole ‘feminine’ thing like it’s cool to be a toyboy, but we’ll assume that they are portraits of Lipstick Feminists, of course. Women claiming me-time to doll up is as valid as taking time out from doing more than one’s fair share of domestics to read up on sisterhood issues, pretty much. But I digress, Zoe doesn’t waste time on annoying wimps, she goes for the retro with humour and some charming irony.

So, going back to the drawing skills, I want to draw attention to ways of defining art and of being an artist. The way Zoe talks about how she developed her art/illustration work in this excellent interview couldn’t be more articulate. She focuses on real-life art and illustration. No blagging.

Your thoughts?

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