Josh Carrington Crimson City Highlark


The New Zealand based, self-described ballpoint artist Josh Carrington has developed an entirely original manner of characterization, resulting in illustrations that have been featured on a variety of products ranging from apparel to longboards. Josh, an exhibiting artist in the United States and internationally, continues to create under the pseudonym ‘Crimson City’. The figures in his scenes, often drawn entirely in multicolored ballpoint pen, are a reflection on humanity; even though they are clearly not human, there is an inner element, in their actions and expressions, that allows us to relate and chase an allure deeper than the obvious aesthetic.

Josh Carrington Crimson City Highlark

Josh’s style borders on something along the lines of psychedelic steampunk, though those two terms, even when mashed together, do not encompass the nuances within his work. The images are private snapshots of the lives his robotic characters lead. He captures them as they show love, remorse, melancholy, and thought in ways that are hauntingly familiar. Some  are locked in embrace while others exist enveloped in their solitude. Though their limbs resemble the cold extensions of complicated machinery, their countenances are purely ours.

The humanization of machinery never loses its appeal and, using our flesh and blood, Carrington pushes the concept of artificial intelligence until it becomes fully genuine. His portfolio is an example of extraterrestrial portraiture at its finest, beckoning sci-fi enthusiasts to crawl out of themselves, step into the bodies of these metal-bound creatures, and take a moment to realize their inherent similarities.

In technical terms, Josh’s process is rooted in simplicity -as shown by his medium of choice. However, the bare essentials give him enough versatility to add as much detail as needed, and his scenery is saturated with complex pattern work and explosive flora. The color balances produce a kaleidoscopic effect, as well as clear metallic texture that is often the focal point of a piece. The background settings are just as telling as the figures in the foreground; whether it be something they are running away from or something they are striving towards, the cityscapes in the distance add crucial perspective to Josh’s illustrations. Josh Carrington’s images are weighted with the carefully crafted spirit of his characters, as well as his own, sharing his perspective on the relationships connecting all that meets the eye.


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