Mark Powell‘s ballpoint pen drawings are hypnotic in their extraordinary detail, and his application of the commonplace tool lends an intrinsic simplicity to his work. Making use of vintage envelopes, maps, and newspapers (some of which date back to 1756), Powell forgoes the traditional canvas and instead seamlessly blends his pen scrawls with the textured background. By combining these forms, Powell hopes to instill a sense of history and story to his pieces, creating a unique layer of richness to his art.
With a sense of cultural voyeurism, the artist’s newest collection of extraordinary pen portraits feature a wide range of characters and ideals while maintaining his typical flair. “They complement each other and I hope lead the viewer to wonder, and maybe create, a history for the two,” Powell explains regarding his artistic couplings. “I rarely connect the portrait and ‘canvas’ as they are both strangers to me.”