Come on, everybody. Let's check out the wonderfully surreal and hyper-real art of Jeffrey Richter over at RichterFineArt on etsy. If you haven't guessed by now, I am not a drawer or painter or traditional artist of any type. I think that's part of the reason why I'm so in awe of these fine artists working and selling on etsy. In addition, you can buy this amazing original art for very low prices, and have something so unusually beautiful and unique in your home. How great is that!
This is the first piece I ever noticed from Jeff's shop, titled Love Song. I adore several things about this charcoal drawing. First, the vintage, antique sense of it, with the period clothing and the sort of murky, shadowy setting. So lovely. It seems like it's a portrait of a couple from Victorian England, until you look a little closer. Then, you get his beautifully surreal vision of love captured here with the mixture of object or machine with the human body. That whole notion of the huge changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution, combined with old-fashioned romance. And it is quite romantic, actually.
Here's Jeff's description from the shop:
"This is an original drawing of a woman with a ball of string for a head playing the string like a violin which is being fed through her husbands sewing machine head as he sews a handkerchief. "
An utterly original view of a love song. While the drawing reminds me of both Victorian-era art and the later surrealists like Duchamp or Dali, I've never seen anything quite like it. It inspires me to want to make a strange and lovely piece of steampunk jewelry to go with it, you know? The fascinating combination of love and music and machine. And that's the true test for me--if a piece awes and inspires, and also stays with me, then it must be a great work of art.
At the other end of the art spectrum, more tradition realisim, here is Jeff's Chimpunk. Delightfully realistic, with an interesting point of view on the little critter. Look at how beautifully it's drawn. Ah, I wish I could do that. Nothing surrealistic or odd, just so well done, right down to his tense toes, and completely charming. You can almost feel the skittish movement of the little guy just by the way he's drawn it. Amazing.
Any artist who can move from something as common and universally adorable as a chipmunk drawn in almost hyper-realistic style, to something as unusual and hauntingly romantic as his surreal couple from Love Song. . . well, for me, that's an artist of amazing talent.
Check out his shop for more fascinating stuff: