The work of Ai Campbell celebrates the compelling nature of art’s most basic elements, using the monochromatic colors of black and white to amplify positive negative spaces through the contrast. Featuring simple organic forms she builds or extract the most complex. The resulting works are powerfully delicate yet paradoxically complex detailed paintings and drawings that arrest the imagination of the audience.
Born in Osaka, Japan, Brooklyn-based visual artist Ai Campbell majored in oil painting at the Kyoto College of Art and Design. Her work has exhibited in Osaka, Japan, Miami, St. Petersburg, Florida, Barcelona, Spain and New York City.
I’ve been fascinated with detailed monochromatic works since the first time I saw the beautiful landscape drawings of my grandfather, a successful industrial designer. During the war, he spent his spare time drawing the places where he was stationed. The consistent 5 x 7 inch works contained fine details in the vivid contrast of black and white. Because he passed away before I was born, those drawings were my only interactions with him.
The simple yet explosive black and white spaces enhance the contour of shapes allowing one to see vividly simple yet critical object elements. An obsession with this type of imagery has become the central theme of my own work: engaging the most basic elements of life to build or extract the most complex.
I feature the organic shapes and natural forms that I encounter, such as water streams on a faded wall, layered leaves on a tree or my own tangled hair, exploring how their virgin elements can interact. I think the individually lifeless elements start to breath in the company of other types. My work will continue to explore the beauty and power in life’s intricate organic forms and I am excited to see evolution.
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY