Apollonia Saintclair – 605 – Les béquilles [The Third Auxiliary] (2015)
Each time I re-encounter Saintclair’s work, my appreciation of her talent expands.
Like Mœbius–who’s syncretism of sacred (attuned to the rigorously established precepts of classical drafting and design in high art) and profane (explicitly graphic depictions of sexual activity) is almost certainly a major influence–Saintclair almost always releases work that is both salacious and eminently refined.
I adore the image above. I appreciate the fact that I actually sat here for ten minutes decoding the fact that the hands depicted here belong to four different people.
Further, I love the way her treatment of cross hatching and shading render appear to be almost art nouveau-esque when you are examining the piece close at hand, and then when you zoom out and see it at a distance, the stylization diminishes to affect a sort of photo-realistic look.
Compositionally, I can’t see how anyone could look at this and not appreciate the careful balance between highlight and shadow–I mean this illustration is, after all, a gradient from top to bottom (light to shadow). But like the yin-yang symbol, the shadows in the light area balance against light in the shadow areas. It’s masterful, really. (She’s probably also riffing on Escher here.)
Lastly: for three years–give or take and excluding guest curatorial stints–I’ve insisted on alternative between B&W and color images every other post on this blog. (I know, I know–your mind is blown.)
It’s not especially easy to pull of. There is a dearth of B&W stuff, a surfeit of color. So it’s refreshing to have an artist whose work successfully scratches a particular itch in such a virtuoso fashion.
(Disclaimer: this Tumblr was high af off Cali’s finest medical edibles while writing this post.)