No. Artists Anonymous is not a rehab group for people who are overly preoccupied with drawing and painting. Artists Anonymous, or “AA”, is a collective of artists based in Berlin and London, who are known for using “after-image” techniques in their art. In an after-image, the colors are inverted, so that for every original color, the after-image shows the exact opposite complimentary color. What’s unique about AA is that they paint using the inverted colors first, so that the after-image appears more suitable and intended than the original.
When I first saw AA’s works on Lazarides Rathbone‘s website, and read about their techniques, I had a Stendhalian moment (post-script). I would not have guessed that I would be drawn to this kind of art, but when I learned how AA produced their works, and realized the mastery over color and technique that they must have, I was left dumbfounded.
Knowing that I could not come close to producing quality art using a similar technique, I nevertheless wanted to try. So I grabbed my art markers, and drew the after image of my brother with his now shaved beard. The images above are the original sketch (left) and the after image (right). I can’t play AA ball, but I had fun trying.
Below are after-images of two sketches I previously posted on THP. Flowers appear to be well suited to the after-image.
P.S. According to Wikipedia, Stendhal syndrome is “a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly beautiful…”. This syndrome was name after a 19th century French author, who described his feeling of awe during his 1817 visit to Florence.
P.P.S. It’s often helpful to see things from the opposite point of view. It makes for a better understanding of the whole picture.