The expectation is for artists to begin their painting or drawing on a blank canvas. This may be true for many, but that is not how Ed Fairburn begins his portraits. The Englishman uses old maps and star charts as the medium for his artwork. The topography of rivers and roads become wrinkles and curves of a face. You would think his compositions look messy but quite the opposite, there seem to be more depth and life to them. The geographical sketches vary in locations, from Denver and Los Angeles to Australia, for example. One of the pieces produced is from a WWI trench map of northern France. Although, Fairburn points out that the area is not of great importance to him; “I am more concerned with the aesthetics of the map rather than the location.” His exhibit is currently running at the Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado, until December 19, 2015.
He Starts With Old Maps… And Ends Up With Portraits You’d LOVE To Own. April 1, 2023