Visual Basic

There's an argument that real creative freedom comes from simplicity – never mind involved processes and cutting edge technology – sometimes it's about the hand, the eye and spontaneity. Author of new book 'Artless' Amandas Ong explains...

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Over the last decade or so, there has been a growing legion of artists who are choosing to work with the most pared-down of materials and tools, producing images that are joyously spontaneous and evocative of a sense of visual immediacy. Artless plunges into the heart of this trend, and explores the many ways through which these artists are engaging with the creative freedom that this aesthetic embodies.

Jean-Philippe Delhomme, Women wearing kimonos on a rainy afternoon in Montparnasse,

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Jean-Philippe Delhomme, Women wearing kimonos on a rainy afternoon in Montparnasse, from Delhomme’s 2015 weekly column ‘Pariser Tagebuch’ for ZEITmagazin, 2015, gouache on paper, 40 x 30 cm (16 x 12 in). Courtesy of the artist.

Jean-Philippe Delhomme's practice is an amalgamation of fashion illustration, art, photography and architecture. This illustration is reminiscent of Matisse's expressive brushwork, and is a humorous take on the oddities of urban life that typically go unnoticed.

Marie Jacotey, My soul is dark, from ‘Dear love who should have been forever mine’

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Marie Jacotey, My soul is dark, from ‘Dear love who should have been forever mine’, 2015, 28 x 21 cm (11 x 8 in). Courtesy of the artist.

As can be seen here, Marie Jacotey frequently combines text with images rendered in colour pencils. Depicting darkly comic situations through a deceptively unsophisticated style, she leaves the viewer feeling faintly unsettled.

Maria Luque, There’s a lion in your house

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Maria Luque, There’s a lion in your house, 2012, coloured pencil and marker on paper, 14 x 20 cm (5. x 8 in). Courtesy of the artist.

Maria Luque uses colour pencils and markers to create vibrantly-coloured, almost psychedelic visions of absurdist scenes. We particularly love this piece because it manages to be both zany and blasé at the same time: a couple make love on the bed while a lion growls next to them.

Charlotte Trounce, Marni SS15

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Charlotte Trounce, Marni SS15, 2015, acrylic on paper, 13 x 18 cm (5 x 7 in). Courtesy of the artist.

It's surprising how acrylic on paper can produce a paradoxical effect that is elegant but raw at the same time, which is a feat that Charlotte Trounce accomplishes in this personal project for Marni's SS 2015 collection.

Misaki Kawai, Installation

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Misaki Kawai, Installation view: Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museuem of Contemporary Art (Japan). [wall] Max, 2004, yarn, wood and plastic, 120 x 300 x 15 cm (47 x 118 x 6 in). m[floor] Mini Arty, 2014, yarn, wood and plastic, 79 x 101 x 36 cm (31 x 40 x 14 in). Courtesy of the artist.

No other artist in this book captures the spirit of playtime better than Misaki Kawai. Inspired by the puppets and toys of her childhood, she creates multimedia pieces using fabric and even food. People of all ages are encouraged to interact with her installations and forget, for a moment, the knotty complications of everyday life.