Tag Archives: Afterimage

Drawing in the Afterimage

Maya (drawing) - compressed

After completing the drawing of Tommy Kane (see my last post), I wanted to draw another artist who inspires me.  If you have followed my blog over the past year, you know that I am a fan of Artists Anonymous (“AA”), a group of artists in London and Berlin, who are known for painting in the afterimage.  You can read more about AA in my posts, “For the Love of the Game“, and “Artists Anonymous“.

AA’s paintings are impressive.  Even more remarkable is that the afterimages of their works often look more intentional than the originals.  It is rare to find contemporary artists doing something truly original, and yet AA is doing just that.

The members of Artists Anonymous prefer to remain anonymous.  They do so in part to see what happens if they take authorship away from their works.  As a result, AA is as much a social experiment as it is a moniker.  Nevertheless, one of their founding members, Maya van Malden, is their spokesperson, and the only artist whose identity we know.  So in order to draw Artists Anonymous, I borrowed a photo of Maya, and drew her portrait.  Given AA’s unique method of painting, I thought it only appropriate to draw Maya in the negative (see above).  Below is the afterimage of my drawing.

Maya (afterimage)

Artists Anonymous is among my favorite artists, and there is much more to their art than just their painting techniques.  To see some online images of their works, check out www.artists-anonymous.com.

P.S.  It’s been over two months since I wrote my last blog post, and recently, I had been thinking that The Hipping Post experiment had run its course.  But blogs, Facebook, and other social media, can serve a greater purpose than just throwing a voice into the void.  Used thoughtfully, social media allows you to share, collaborate, and connect.  THP has allowed me to connect with people I never otherwise would have met, and for that I am grateful.

I draw and paint for myself because I enjoy it, and I also write mostly for myself.  But I have enjoyed sharing this blog, so I am going to continue with it.  The posts may come more sporadically, but hopefully I will add some value to those of you who continue to visit and give me some of your time to read my posts.

Artists Anonymous


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.

Flower inv

flower 2

And here are some selections from Artists Anonymous.
AA 1Cloud Cuckoo and Cloud Cuckoo [After Image], 2012

AA2La Poupette and La Poupette [After Image], 2012

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.