I make portraits, primarily in dots and lines, and focus on the character that can be found in closeups of my subjects’ eyes and faces.

I’ve been intrigued for some time by the way a series of simple shapes can create a compelling and realistic image. Newspaper black and white photos display an entirely different world when magnified than they do when viewed from afar. Yet there is beauty in the magnification, in the objects that we see in a close-up view. My portraits study for me how emotion can be conveyed while abstracting portraits into a screen, whether by dots, lines, or solids.

There is a certain technical quality that a dot print conveys, for example, and hand-rendering that pattern on in a natural or weathering material can change our relationship to it. Carefully drawing smooth pools of selected colors, or carving them out of wood, changes our viewing position in yet a different way. I currently work in digital prints, in pastels & charcoal on board, in carved wood, and in various rusts and patinas of sheet metal.

I’m at home in almost any city, but grew up on a northern Alabama farm. Much of my subject matter is inspired by what I have come to think of as the duality of that Southern thing.

I am an artist, advocate, writer, and architect in Atlanta. We have two children, and they and my wife Helen are my inspiration in almost everything that I do.

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J Ron Crawford

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