New York-based artist Mike Lee’s work sees him “remove detail and simplify figures and objects down to their most basic shapes”. The result is a series of smoothly-textured, painted silhouettes that feel as though they’re swimming through the air. “My ideas stem from observing my closest friends, family, strangers and reflecting back on various moments throughout my life,” explains Mike. His abstract interpretations of these moments is ambiguous but intriguing and this feeling is emphasised by the CGI-like finish Mike achieves.
“I started off using the most basic tools: paper and pencil. However ultimately it just wasn’t practical for the amount of ideas I wanted to explore,” says the artist. “I couldn’t finish a drawing in a reasonable amount of time, so I’ve now shifted exclusively over to oil paints. My production has increased ten fold and I’m also able to utilise the full range of values instead of being constrained by the limitations of graphite.”
There’s a sombre tone to Mike’s work but the weightlessness of his characters feels hopeful and lightens the monochrome atmosphere. “I’ve realised the most important thing to me is the emotional connection people have with my work. I do my best to achieve this through the use of lighting and abstracting figures,” he explains.
- Hey presto, it's Best of the Web!
- Paris-based Studio Jimbo creates "impact and power" with punchy poster designs
- Minju An's oddly sinister illustrations depict strange characters and floating bread
- Friday Mixtape: Warpaint's Glastonbury picks
- Karifurav Caihua’s weirdly erotic Japanese-inspired illustrations
- High octane Nike China animation gets kids to wear their bandages as a “badge of honour”
- “Evolve or die”: Bloomberg Businessweek creative director Rob Vargas on the magazine’s redesign
- Southbank Centre visual identity redesigned by North, to be a “confident masthead” for the institution
- Photographer Khadija Saye has died in the Grenfell Tower fire, her family confirm
- The Buzzfeed redesign: UK art director Tim Lane talks us through his seven-month overhaul
- Alex Norris’ hilarious three-panelled webcomics are universally appealing
- Fresh Yale grad Franci Virgili applies an academic approach to graphic design