"Martin Thompson: Positive/Negative"

  • Art
  • Drawing
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This self-taught artist and mathematician from New Zealand creates mind-bogglingly intricate felt-tip pen drawings on graph paper that resemble the pixelated results of an Amish quilt mating with an old-school video game such as Pac-Man or Space Invaders. Each piece is made according to a numerical formula that Thompson follows as he precisely fills in each square. When he makes a mistake, which he sometimes does, he excises the offending part of the composition with a scalpel, replacing it with a Scotch-taped piece of corrected paper that exactly fits over the elided area—creating, in the bargain, a textural effect. Suffering from a mental disorder that makes it difficult for him to interact with people, Thompson views making art as a coping mechanism for dealing with the world.
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