A L E C   K A L T H O F F

I am an illustrator because I want to be honest. When I try to recount my childhood out loud, I realize I’ve done it a terrible injustice. There isn’t a word in any language that can capture its significance, but words have boundaries. Pictures do not. My work is a visual performance set on the stage of the unconscious mind that broadens the viewer’s scope for deeper thought. My objective is to create impossibilities to prove that sometimes the only way to tell the truth is to tell a lie.

My work has an emphasis on concept, but the forms are drawn and rendered thoroughly. I pay more attention to shadows and shading of the figure than I do to accurate proportions in form. I use a heavy pencil to flush out the texture on the paper and to push the darks as far as they need. After I have a complete black and white pencil drawing, I apply flat colors so that the pencil rendering is the focus of the work. My rendering technique derives from years of life drawing classes and single light source compositions, and I’ve now developed an eye for shadow which allows me to use them as a narrative tool. I color my work digitally because this allows me to experiment with different colors quickly, and with ease.

My portfolio is a collection of visual reactions towards people, interactions, events, books, and emotions. I’ve been building a visual vocabulary my entire life, now I use illustration as a means to explore that vocabulary and to expand my artistic horizon. I’m not interested in illustrating a subject only as it appears, because that’s never the truth about it. Everything has layers, and nothing is as simple as it’s title. My goal is to break the simplifications and to expose every facet of the subject that I’m illustrating, because doing otherwise wouldn’t be honest.