Simplicity is key as Ai Campbell proves time and time again. Her works largely maintain a monochromatic theme, however an occasional pop of one color is introduced here and there adding an element of warmth. Inspired by her grandfather’s bold and highly contrasted landscape drawings, Ai has carried this same aesthetic into her own work.
With ink as her main medium, she approaches its application differently than most. Rather than going for design and precision right away she lightly wets the canvas and then using a dropper, spills ink onto the surface, allowing it to flow naturally with the water and create its own shape from this movement. After this dries, she then goes back and draws adding her own intricate detailing on top of this shape, creating a more complex layer to the piece.
After thinking about the border limitations of creating a 2D piece, Ai decided to try her hand at 3D design, starting at first with blocks in which she drew a pattern across the faces before taking on a new shape entirely in the form of orbs.
She says to me as she now skillfully draws and turns the orb. As the orbs went from single pieces to groups, Ai added a magnet to each of them in order to make them not just art but functional design elements.
“It took 5 to 6 of these spheres to get used to the shape. I kept going around and around and forgetting where I had started the pattern or how to get to it.”
With these currently on show at La Boîte, Ai returns to working on a 2D surface in a new way. Starting with groups of stippling on canvas, she adds ink stained mylar sheets on top creating a more complex image that shines. The mylar sheets are then collaged on top of one another.
“I’m still trying to work through the plastic on plastic.”
In addition to this, she mentions wanting to incorporate her skills as a digital image retoucher into her current bodies of work, producing pieces that have a new digital edge.
Until then, check out Ai’s current solo show - on view at La Boîte, NYC until the end of summer at:
724 11th Ave (bt 51st and 52nd Sts), Manhattan
Email us for a studio visit to meet Ai in person: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ciao for now,
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