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Crayon Portraits Make Us See Rods And Cones, Maybe More

American artist Christian Faur makes portraits with crayons, but he doesn’t draw with them. Instead, he arranges the crayons upright, giving his portraits a pixel-like effect that is strangely nostalgic, like looking at a really old television. This is the least childish crayon art I’ve ever seen, and preschoolers must never be allowed near them.

Faur had sent these photos to designboom, and we’re happy to help spread some crayon love. He had just concluded his “Rods and Cones” exhibition at the Kim Foster Gallery in New York, and these photos are of some of the exhibits. Notice the title plays on the mechanics of eyesight, and the form of the crayon. So clever.

He explains his use of crayons at his site:

My earliest memories of making art involve the use of wax crayons. I can still remember the pleasure of opening a new box of crayons: the distinct smell of the wax, the beautifully colored tips, everything still perfect and unused. Using the first crayon from a new box always gave me a slight pain. Through a novel technique that I have developed, I again find myself working with the familiar form of the crayon.

Because of the three-dimensional nature of the crayons, the individual surface images appear to change form as one moves about the gallery space. The images completely disappear when viewed from close up, allowing one to read the horizontally sequenced crayon text and to take in the beautifully colored crayon tips — all the while being reminded of that first box of crayons.

I remember thinking they looked delicious, and the dire consequences of such dangerous lines of thought (and action).

Faur had used more than 145,000 crayons for his portraits, each one painstakingly selected and hand-cast to recreate the illusion of a photograph in the form of a sculpture. Watch as the crayons become pixels and the pixels become photographs. And the photographs become memory.

(via designboom, image credit Christian Faur)

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