I recently rediscovered the beautiful work of Canadian graphic artist Marian Bantjes.
She spent many years as a graphic designer, then decided to follow her own style and shifted into the realm of art. Her work still maintains strong typographic and design elements, but is very personal. The designs she creates are different from what we usually see in modern art and design. Rather than being simple and easy to understand, Bantjes creates ambiguous, intricate, and ornamental work.
Part of what bothers me about some modern artists is the feeling that “anyone could have created this”, a sentiment that is shared by many casual viewers of art. I have a hard time appreciating a piece that has little labour put into it. While an art critic can theorize on the deep meaning in a work like that, I feel like I need something more from art—a sense of amazement and appreciation for the process and hard work that went into producing the artwork. That’s part of what I like about Bantjes’ work: her talent and skill are evident, her detailed work is amazing, and the results are works of art.