WAR ARTWORK Pen and Ink Gallery Exhibition

war artwork, now magazine toronto

HARD RAIN Gallery Installation

HARD RAIN! War Artwork 2002-03. This collection of detailed ink drawings was a direct sequel to the “HEY APATHY! & the APOCALYPSE”. The imagery depicted twisted and war torn cartoon cityscapes rendered simultaneously from multiple view points. The conceptual intermingling of physical and psychological torments reflected the predominant sociological state of the world following the events of September 11.

The drawings were installed as a sculpture encompassing an entire room placing the audience centrifugally inside an imaginary bombardier’s cockpit. Here the viewer becomes aware of the surrounding chaos and is forced to question their own role amidst the madness. Unlike the speculative works from the previous series, HARD RAIN, created between Oct 2002-March 2003, was directly influenced by the social and political climate of the time. The series was conceived as questions of war permeated the news and opened during the first week of bombings in Iraq.

The HARD RAIN war artworks combined a unique layered drawing technique with a customized sculptural element for presentation. The drawings were created using a set of technical pens with nibs ranging between 0.35 and 2.0. The varied line density combined with the use of a magnifying glass allowed for a multitude of intricately detailed cartoon scenarios to be hidden within a single drawing. The images were rendered with multiple layers of black ink on black ink sporadically moving between the different sized nibs. This technique created an illusionary effect in which various messages and themes become visible only at certain angles or under a specific light.

The entire collection included approximately 400 smaller ink on board works (5 x 5” – 30 x 30”), 15 large format ink on paper murals as well as a corresponding animation. All of the smaller works were mounted on hand-made custom stretchers of various depths to enhance the sculptural presentation of the work. Similar to the first exhibition “HARD RAIN” was designed as an all encompassing environmental installation. Divided into two sections the entire gallery was painted red and featured the large murals in the front room and the sculptural exhibit in the back.

The front room presented the experience of war as scene from a distance. The large impressionist ink works referenced atomic mushroom clouds and featured burnt and distorted skylines. The smaller drawings were hung in a 4 x 80 foot strip wrapped across all four walls of a low ceilinged gallery back room. Here the audience was brought in for closer examination of to battle where the abstract forms of the larger works became more legible. Buildings, cars, houses and people could be seen amidst the decaying war torn landscapes. The effect being a single inescapably claustrophobic experience created through the accumulative presentation of 400 smaller drawings.

More about the War Artwork

 Samples of the Hard Rain drawings and animations


Creepy Creatures presented in an underground studio gallery


Feature Article Review of the HArd Rain Exhibition


Giant Exhibition of Ink Drawings, Murals, Comics & Animation