Artists I like: Il Lee

Mar 30, 2011

© Art Projects International; Courtesy of artist and Art Projects International, New York

New York-based artist Il Lee creates beautiful works of art on paper and canvas using only ballpoint pen.  In many ways, Lee's pen drawings remind me of traditional Asian ink drawings.  The simplified subjects are captured by spontaneous, yet well-practiced strokes.  And negative space plays a significant role in compositional balance. 

© Art Projects International; Courtesy of artist and Art Projects International, New York
© Art Projects International; Courtesy of artist and Art Projects International, New York
© Art Projects International; Courtesy of artist and Art Projects International, New York

It's always difficult to assess art on a computer screen, so here is a photo of Lee's large-scale works hanging in a gallery space.  This should give you a better idea of the magnitude of his ballpoint pen handiwork. 

© Art Projects International; Courtesy of artist and Art Projects International, New York

There is also this short video of Lee's art put together by San Jose Museum of Art.  I have to say that it does make my hand hurt just watching it.  It's amazing to think that Lee has been using ballpoint pen in his art for over 30 years! 


11 comments:

Laura said...

Wow, great discovery! Thanks for sharing! I love it too!

Lotta Losten said...

How beautiful! And it must really take FOREVER to make one of those. I'm amazed.
Hi, by the way. Found you through Ety a while ago and really like your blog!
/Lotta

Charissa said...

Lovvvely. I especially like the last image. Thanks for sharing - this is nice visual accompaniment to my lunch!

Brigitte Marie said...

OH I love these!! He must go through a lot of boxes of pens :) And thank you for gallery pic to give us a feel for the scale of his drawings! WOW

robyn said...

These are beautiful. They reminded me of the first project from my life drawing class in college. We were given one bic pen and we had to draw our foot on a large drawing paper. 2 Catches, we had to empty the pen (use all the ink) and it was supposed to be in a scribble technique, using primarily one strong line.

Veronica said...

Inspiring.

Becky said...

Oh my! When I got to the picture of them hanging for the scale I gasped out loud and then I got my boyfriend to have a look and when he got to the last picture he too made a huge shocked noise.
This work is amazing, thanks for sharing :)

Abby Emerson said...

This is amazing! When I saw the drawings, I thought they were incredible...but I thought they were just page-sized drawings. To see how big they really are...WOW! Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Saw a couple of his works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They're awesome.

Jessica Ann Mills said...

Simply gorgeous. They remind me of Deb Oden's work:

http://www.lifesizepress.com/

She went to graduate school where I got my undergraduate, her prints are beautiful. Just like these amazing drawings. Such depth in both work. Thanks for sharing, I'm a new Il Lee fan.

Anonymous said...

Sooooo beautiful. Thanks for finding them.

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