Art of Messiness: Intentionally Sloppy Drawings & Collages
Article by Urbanist, filed under Drawing & Digital in the Art category.

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(work via ARTST.com)

It takes a special kind of person to actively pursue a messy career, be they a port-o-potty cleaner or a technician on an oil rig. Messy artists, you know, ones who cherish a sloppy line here and a paint splotch there, their canvases falling apart at the weight of their paint, belong in those ranks. And while the simple beauty of a clean line is certainly something to be cherished, so are the messy splotches of these dirty artists.

Angels With Dirty Faces

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(images via Mike Booker)

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(image via Mark Welsh)

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(image via Paul Leli)

“The eyes are the window to the soul,” goes the famous Proverb. So when a messy artist takes to messing up those eyes, and the rest of a person’s face, what we find staring back at us is scary. Grotesque faces can really be terrifying. They can evoke pity, anger, sadness and confusion. Whatever feeling provoked in the viewer, however, one thing can be sure — as long as the viewer is feeling SOMETHING, the artist succeeds. And be sure that a messily painted face is near impossible to leave a viewer cold and unemotional.

Smudgy Stars

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(image via Paul Leli)

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(images via Paul Leli and Lichiban)

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(images via Paul Leli)

And when that messy face is someone familiar, like a celebrity? Those emotions get all mixed up with conflicting feelings of familiarity and adoration and disgust and interest and whatever else that particular celebrity makes you feel. Depicting famous people in a demented manner is a great way for artists to grab hold of the neck of our pop ‘n celebrity-obsessed culture and shake it and squeeze it while yelling “Hey! Look at me! I can paint pretty well!”

Abstract Mess

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(images via Listen04)

And when you remove the faces and the celebrity and you’re left with gooey primitive sludge… what feelings are evoked then? Without the complicated emotions that are borne out of a demented, terrifying face, you’re left with the same feeling both children and cave painters share — JOY.

“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.” –  Chuck Palahniuk

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