The Geographical, Vintage Portraits of Ed Fairburn

The relationship between the earth and its human inhabitants has been explored by Ed Fairburn, an illustrator, through juxtaposition of the lines on maps and of the human face. He decided to play with this concept to “examine ‘the synchronicity of the patterns between the geographical and the human being'”. With this concept, Fairburn aims to expose the viewers to the concept that we are all united on this earth, despite our differences.

Here are some examples of the work he has done in this series so far:

Ed_Fairburn_map_graphic_art_07 Ed-Fairburn-4 Ed_Fairburn_map_graphic_art_03 Ed-Fairburn-1

Amazing, isn’t it? Do you feel that these works are successfully conveying his message?

Click here to read the article on the concept, and see more of his artwork, you can go to Ed Fairburn’s website.

Posted by Mary Rose Fiondella



2 thoughts on “The Geographical, Vintage Portraits of Ed Fairburn

  1. These are gorgeous! I was really struck by the crisp realness of the faces. I’ve also just always loved maps as art, so this is a neat way to bring the aesthetic features of them out even further. I think it must be hard to draw over something so busy as a map but this artist does it beautifully. I would say he definitely succeeds at his aims to show parallels between geographic lines and the human form. Its really successful in particular images where the mountain ranges/changes in altitude correlate with shadows of the faces or hair, or the way rivers and waterways seem to mimic veins or wrinkles on the faces.

    ~Katie L

  2. Very visually interesting portraits. One powerful aspect of this series is the scale of each piece. When i first looked at the bottom four portraits I did not get a sense of scale until I looked at the featured image. With the artist as a reference point, it shows how large these pieces are, and adds to their sense of incredible detail. Fairburn creates such visually stunning pieces because he worked with the maps geographical features, like topographic lines and street structure. He used this to his advantage to add texture, then enhanced those features by placing each point of the portraits in the right spot on the maps. Also, it reminds me of what I am seeing in the commercial and entertainment world. If you look at the title sequence in the first season of True detective, the character portraits are altered digitally to create a map and growing buildings out of their faces. In many commercials typography is being presented with a different background filling the letter space. So, all these things remind me of real representations of the clipping mask in Photoshop.

    —- Hunter French —-

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