If you look at self- taught artist Craww‘s work long enough, drops of pearl will turn into drops of blood, and wounds will fester before your eyes. Such is his exceptional ability to mesh elegance with woe and mystery with raw nakedness. He works in a variety of mediums, catering to the demands of each piece, and therefore producing work of an unparalleled unity.

The women in Craww’s artwork are not always traditionally beautiful. What makes them bewitching are their forms- how they twist, fade, and bend over as if they were carrying an invisible burden. The geometry of the human figure is expertly portrayed in unorthodox but provoking positions- a hunched back, a tilted head, hands clasped in prayer. Craww also makes the backdrop a living part of the piece. His backgrounds often envelop the subject like clothing, or levitate her like an apparition. The texture in his work is velvety, like theatre curtains, and light flows as it pleases. There is a natural glow to each piece, despite its surrealism.

Craww publishes parts of his sketchbook on his website, and viewing it gave me valuable insight into his creative identity. He doesn’t hold back, filling up entire pages with drawings that feel finished and independent of what goes on in the rest of the sketchbook. In a space reserved for mistakes, Craww and his inestimable patience produce profound images, each deserving of its own title.

There is a nameless and alluring melody in Craww’s work. It’s kind of like the pied piper’s pipe, or an elfin ballad. There is clarity, confusion, and room for interpretation. Some of the women he creates are cobras, and some are fawns, but all of them reach out to the audience with spindly yet graceful fingers. There is poetry there.



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