Drawing as an art form has made a huge comeback in the face of digital technologies, and San Francisco based artist Chelsea Brown has imagination to boot. Her designs are tribal, sexual, intricate and strange – a world of patterns, dripping colors, totems and symbolism. Women feature in most of her illustrations with beams of light shooting from their mouths – their eyes either hidden or completely white (which is slightly terrifying, I admit). One of the most interesting elements of Brown’s world is that animals always seem to be in the care of their human counterparts: rabbits and foxes are cradled in the arms of female warriors, whilst at the same time they appear as large headpieces. This dichotomy is hard to pin down but visually stunning.
I tend to view this genre of mythical art as cliched or kitsch, yet Brown escapes the perils of overused symbolism through her attention to detail. It could be the smallest addition, such as a strange shade of grey/blue or the intricate pattern of clothing, but the imagery functions as a snapshot from Brown’s dreams or the dreams of someone she knows. I like this intangible quality, that I’m not quite sure where this world is, but that it exists on paper, transcribed by Brown for our mere mortal eyes. Brown has a keen eye for the magical and her aesthetic is nothing short of complex.
Text by Marion Piper.