Artist and professor Guno Park is known for his expressive, yet detailed ballpoint pen drawings of people and sights in New York City. In addition to capturing real-life subjects, however, he also makes illustrations that explore deep concepts, such as life and death. His 85 x 51.5 inch graphite drawing entitled Nature of Things is one such piece. It depicts a human skeleton filled with thriving plant life.
“Putting the skeleton together with vine, leaves, and flowers represents for me the power of nature and its inevitability of continuum. I find comfort in nature,” the artist says. Human skulls are commonly used in the tradition of memento mori, which serve as reminders in paintings that we will all die one day. By filling his skeleton with vegetation, Park contrasts death with new life.
Within the large-scale drawing are dozens of pencil hatch marks. Park uses this shading technique to give his subject depth, adding to its incredible realism. “This drawing has been a journey—as many drawings are—that started a little more than a year ago…I think our whole world was reminded of how close death can be, and I had a constant reminder of it on the news and media,” he continues.