In a culture hyper-saturated by electronic imagery, I use traditional materials—quill pens and bottles of ink—to create large-scale images, exploring the sub-technological processes of observation and mark making. The drawings show life-size figures and objects, drawn with a deliberately free hand and energized, rigorous cross-hatching. I generate awkward intimacy in the drawings through a process of “slow-looking.” Through my continual acts of observation, translated through the hand, I describe an intense response to my subject matter, which is as contemporary as my means are old-fashioned. In my drawings, I have considered the banal and mass-produced; the politics of war; sexual identity and power; the psychology of family relationships; and the beauty of natural and man made structures.

A personal scrutiny, through drawing, of my immediate surroundings becomes an examination of a larger, contemporary, American experience: I transform the personal to the political. New life situations, my changing perceptions and observations, lead me to close examination and critical interpretations. I react like a documentarian, recording, for example, my struggles as a young artist attempting to fit into a day job at a major corporation; investigating my family’s relationship to the Holocaust; observing New York cityscapes before and after 9/11; examining what motherhood brings to my life.

The labor-intensive style of drawing I have developed is an intentional act of embodiment, in tension with the electronic landscape surrounding us all. With each project, I incorporate formal and art-historical explorations, with explicit and implicit references to Minimalism, cartooning, Asian scrolls, and 18th century European landscape drawing.

Visit Joan Linder's website here.