Artist Jim Dingilian has an incredible-yet-unconventional way of creating art. Instead of crafting images with paint or graphite, he uses smoke as his medium. Dingilian fills glass bottles with fume and coats their inside surfaces with soot. He'll then reach in the vessel to selectively erase certain areas using brushes and small tools like cotton swabs mounted on dowel rods. What results are ethereal, multi-layered landscapes that are awe-inspiring in their subtle detail.
Dingilian's work is created in found objects with a subtractive drawing method. He must carefully choose what areas to erase and how much he'll leave behind. Layers are also an important part of his compositions, and Dingilian is able to add depth by using the roundness of the bottle to convey what's in the image's foreground and its background.
The artist explains the ideas behind his work, stating, “The miniature scenes I depict are of locations on the edge of suburbia which seem mysterious or even slightly menacing despite their commonplace nature. The bottles add to the implied narratives of transgression. When found by the sides of roads or in the weeds near the edges of parking lots, empty liquor bottles are artifacts of consumption, delight, or dread. As art objects, they become hourglasses of sorts, their drained interiors now inhabited by dim memories.”