A persistent feature of Bakal’s sketchbook drawings is his continuous exploitation of the line’s potential for expression. Beyond simply establishing contours, it is a line that he unspools across surfaces like convoluted entrails; nestles against other lines to sculpt sinewy, striated forms; and repeats in arabesques to relentlessly fill space—as if he were a tattoo artist paid by the square inch.
“My line probably comes from being taught by Jack Potter and Sam Martine, who were both my instructors over 20 years ago,” reflects Bakal. “They were very contour-line heavy instructors and it never really left me. Although the quality of my line has changed—it’s become more ‘stitched’ for certain things and more flowing for others.”
What Bakal calls a stitched line is the result of linking many short, staccato gestures. In his loosest examples, the quality of this line can appear hesitant, or agitated. A sketchbook spread from his personal series “Skulls of Ultimate Death” features scratchy contour drawings of eight conventionalized skulls floating above a red and black field. The inked lines seem incised, as if Bakal is carving into a resistant surface rather than drawing on paper. Redolent of graffiti, the drawing conveys a raw immediacy.
Sandra’s work is lovely—and worth your spending time with. Read the entire profile (as well as prior articles) under Design is Play Articles. [MF]