Digital Art

Russ Mills’ Mayhem

Russ Mills, hailing from the United Kingdom, creates his spontaneous and provoking pieces through a combination of classical and digital art forms. Mills’ process is both intriguing in its ability to merge tradition with technology. Mills often begins with sketches and the preparation of background material before scanning his work onto the computer to begin his digital process of embellishment and the addition of further brushstrokes created with Photoshop. Mills’ skill in merging different forms of art is quite evident in his seamless and homogenized results.

In this particular work, titled Fries To Go, Mills does not disappoint. The image taken in as a whole is arresting and expertly balanced. The gaze in the woman’s face in the top right corner is piercing. Her left eye desperately seeks to connect with the viewer and partake in his/her reality. However, there is a surrounding element of the surreal that obscures her shape. The dashes and splashes of black, white, and red shroud her true form and limit her ability to connect or take residence in the world in which the viewer resides. This element of the surreal effectively isolates the woman from the outside world through obscuring her form. We do not know her right eye; we do not know her physical traits, and so, we do not know her.

One of Mills’ intents with his work is to channel feelings of fear, isolation, and negativity. I truly feel that he achieves this goal in Fries To Go. The surreal elements and isolation of the piece make the subject far more lovely, mysterious, and ultimately human. We are all isolated in our own existence, and we all have similar sharp, red brushstrokes and scars of fear running through us. This piece is chaotic and raw, and ultimately, it is beautiful because of its human mayhem. The seemingly random marks and strokes – violent, fluid, complex, and simple – are relatable and calming in their familiarity within us all.

What do you think of this image?