Spiral, Pen on paper, 27×35. Image from artist.
Across the Atlantic in London, artist Alex Evans made his name on Vine with his intricately drawn pen and ink illustrations composed of “geometric shapes and complex patterns which manipulate established traditions of mathematical space.” His work depicts hybrid architectural systems and topologies of the imagined city, often evoking images of metropolis such as New York. He has been nominated as a contender for this year’s Shorty’s Award – an annual awards event recognizing those producing real-time short form content across different social media platforms.
Alex working in his studio in London. Image by Malcolm Crowthers from a-n.
Previously trained in theatre and drama, Alex became interested in representing his work on stage as a director in a more graphic manner. Using a simple toolkit of paper, a selection of 0.2 to 0.05 Staedtler pens, a compass and a ruler, he creates layers of ink drawings that illicit skylines of imaginary cities that are inspired by architectural and urban forms. “I don’t draw specific buildings but often people see buildings that they know, which I like. I like that people see their own experiences in the work,” he mentioned at a studio visit by FROM THE STUDIO OF.
Drift in process. Image from a-n.
With a long interest in architecture, Alex’s work is influenced by a wide range of styles and contexts, including complex self-organising systems, Islamic design, 20th Century modernism, Italian Futurism, cuneiform, the work of Alan Turing and Buckminster Fuller. He describes his work as a “confluence of ideas between historically imagined future cities, ancient geometric reasoning and mathematical principles.”
His Vine videos reveal how he works, often alone in the intimacy of his studio where he can focus on detailing imaginary spaces and forms. Using videos as another medium, the combination of “detailed close ups and glitchtrack tunes” expresses another dimension to his time-consuming work process.
Drift, Pen on paper, 45×84. Image from artist.
On top of exploring the contents in his work, Alex also keeps things interesting by experimenting on his workflow. For example, Drift took an especially long amount of time as a result of the spontaneity nature of its process. The impressive piece depicts fragmented skylines and architectural forms while exploring the idea of negative space. “The white spaces for me represent time and conflict; power that’s moving through this one site of human experience,” he says. By constantly making his work open for interpretation, Alex not only create beautiful cityscapes and urban forms, but renderings of living organisms that evoke a sense of life and ownership.
Drift (detail), Pen on paper, 45×84. Image from artist.
Alex’s works have been exhibited nationally in galleries including MK Gallery, Buy Art Fair and the Anise Gallery. He is hoping to continue to draw and exhibit more, as well as exploring a multitude of fabrication techniques and collaborating with multidisciplinary artists all around the globe. Vote for him as Alex Draws for the Shorty Awards and explore his full collections of work here and here.